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H.G. Jones North Carolina 
Heritage Fund 






This book may be kept out one month unless a recall 
notice is sent to you. It must be brought to the North 
Carolina Collection (in Wilson Library) for renewal. 

APR 8 200t> 

Form No. A-369 




a brief history 
of st. paul's parish 
edenton • north carolina 

A % n ne Rouse Edwards 

in consultation with 
Elizabeth Vann Moore 


igitized by 

the Internet 


in 2013 

photo: T. John F. Becker 




Anne Rouse Edwards 

in consultation with 
Elizabeth Vann Moore 

Sweet Bay Tree Books 
for St. Paul's Episcopal Church. 


my father Frank Wilton Edwards (1913-2000) 
and my aunt Lucile Edwards (1907-92) 

A Brief History of St. Paul's Church, Edenton, N.C. 
by Anne Rouse Edwards in consultation with Elizabeth Vann Moore 
published by Sweet Bay Tree Books for St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2003 
© Anne Rouse Edwards 2003 All rights reserved. 
Printed & bound in the USA 
ISBN 0-9643396-6-8 
Library of Congress Number 2003106521 
Part of the text of this book first appeared in the Chowan Herald 
as a series of articles celebrating the 300th anniversary 
of St. Paul's parish. 


L/sf of Illustrations 




Acknowledgemen ts 


The Parish Is Established 


Profound Purpose 


The Duties of the Vestry 


The First Church Building 


The First Clergymen 


In the Wilderness 


The Church That Was Never Built 


Places of Worship 


The Reverend John Urmston 


The Communion Silver 


The Hardships of Service 


The First Colonial Capital 


The Reverend Clement Hall 


The First Devotional Book 


Tumultuous Times 


Controversy and Change 


The Test 


"Parson" Pettigrew 


The Church in Decline 


The Establishment of the Episcopal Church 


in North Carolina 

The First Bishop 


Growth and Renewal of the Diocese 






The Reverend John Avery 56 

St. Paul's in the 19th Century 58 

A Controversial Bishop 62 

The Reverend Samuel Iredell Johnston 65 

Improvements to the Church Building 69 

The Civil War 71 

Bishop Thomas Atkinson 72 

The Aftermath of the War 75 

Continued Efforts toward Reconstruction 77 

The Reverend Robert Brent Drane 80 

St. John the Evangelist Church 82 

The Achievements of Robert Brent Drane 83 

The Bells of Old St. Paul's 85 

As the 20th Century Continues 87 

The Great Fire 88 

Clergymen of the 20th Century 91 

Moving Forward 94 

Tricentennial Celebration 96 

Worship 96 

Homecoming 97 

A Celebration of Faith 98 

Subscribers to A Celebration of Faith 99 

Select Bibliography 104 

Index 107 




Pathway to St. Paul's 

St. Paul's Church, Edenton, 1857 

Open Door, St. Paul's 

Inside St. Paul's, 1972 

Pentecostal Dove 

Nativity in the Children's Chapel, 2002 
"Albemarle River," 1672 
Minutes of the First Vestry Meeting 
Shore of Albemarle Sound 

front cover 
back cover & above 








"The Church that Was Never Built" 22, 23 

The Communion Silver 29 

John Blacknall 31 

Clement Hall's Collection 37 

The Test 42 

Charles Pettigrew 45 

St. Paul's Church, 1862 49 

John Stark Ravenscroft 53 

John Avery 57 

Levi Silliman Ives 63 

Samuel Iredell Johnston 66 

Charles McDonough Parkman 69 

The Interior of St. Paul's, 1879 70 

Thomas Atkinson 73 

Frances Hilliard 76 

Angelo Ames Benton 78 

Robert Brent Drane 81 

The Church of St. John the Evangelist 82 

The Old Rectory 84 

The Bells of Old St. Paul's 86 

The Hurricane of 1933 88 

The Great Fire of 1949 89 

The Reconsecration 90 

The 79th Diocesan Convention 91 

St. Paul's Churchyard 93 

The Rector's Study and Churchyard 99 




In November, 2001, a series of articles began in the Chowan Herald to mark the 
300th anniversary of the founding of St. Paul's parish. The purpose of the series 
was to tell the story of the people of the parish and provide information about the 
building that has long stood in Edenton at the corner of Church and Broad Streets, 
St. Paul's Episcopal Church. These articles have led in turn to this book. 

The history of the parish is essentially the story of the founding of Edenton and 
Chowan County, and of the people who have lived there over a period of more than 
three centuries. St. Paul's parish grew out of a vast territory that was given in 
1663 to eight men as a reward for loyal services to their king. These "Lords 
Proprietors," as they were called, were British noblemen with little understanding 
of, or appreciation for, the people living in the lands granted to them. Their 
objective was principally financial: to collect quitrents from lands they in turn 
conveyed to the people who settled in the region. The Lords Proprietors were remote 
and, ultimately, unsuccessful managers who failed to establish effective means for 
governing the settlers who had established homes within the proprietary "plantations, " 
and experimented with a succession of different forms of colonial management, all 
largely ignored by the people. A number of the royal governors sent out by the 
Lords were corrupt. Eventually, all but one of the Lords Proprietors gave up on the 
new world and sold all interests in the colonies back to the Crown. 

Not the remote Lords, therefore, but the settlers themselves ultimately established 
a means of government that could foster the vital development of community, 
commerce, and church, and they endured many hardships to do this. Few of us 
today can imagine the experience of living in this region during the early years of 
the parish. Limited supplies, miserable roads, little hygiene, the Indian threat, and 
much disease made life challenging. Despite impediments, however, so many 
people of what became Edenton and Chowan possessed extraordinary courage, 
determination, and faith. You will read about them in the pages that follow. 



Elizabeth Vann Moore's work in documenting the history and architecture of 
important structures in Edenton has earned her the respect and admiration of schol- 
ars, genealogists, and individuals throughout North Carolina. She has served as a 
member of the Edenton Historical Commission, the Cupola House Association, 
Historic Edenton, the Chowan County Courthouse Research Committee, the NC 
Literary and Historical Association, the NC Federation of Historical Societies, the 
Carolina Tercentenary Committee, and America's 400th Anniversary Committee. 
She has also received the Lifetime Service award of the Edenton Historical 
Commission, and the Cannon Cup — the State's most prestigious recognition of an 
individual for excellence in promoting the cause of historic preservation. A focus of 
her lifetime research continues to he St. Paul's Church, her family's place of worship 
for generations. It has been my great privilege to work with her. It has also been fun. 
Not only is she unsurpassed in knowledge and unequalled in her devotion to the 
proper and accurate presentation of the facts of this parish, she has a great sense of 
humor. To her I owe enormous and heartfelt thanks. 

Much appreciation is due many other individuals who have contributed to the 
production of A Celebration of Faith with gifts of their time and interest in the project, 
their support and encouragement, and photographs, letters, and publications from 
their family archives. Special among them are Trances Inglis; John Becker; Carol Becker; 
Anne Bruce; Elizabeth Jones; John Morehead; Peter Rascoe; Rosalind MacEnulty, 
members of the Tricentennial Committee of St. Paul's, especially Ann Perry and Hood 
Ellis; Rebecca Bunch and David Crawley of the Chowan Herald; Rosalie Miller and 
the staff of the Shepard Pruden Memorial Library; and Warner Perry and Earl 
Willis, who appear to be the only ones among us who can crack the church safe. 

Last, and certainly not least, the fact that we now have this little book in our 
hands must be attributed to the efforts of my publisher, Tiona King Tinch of Sweet 
Bay Tree Books, who must take credit for making A Celebration of Faith a reality. 
Anne Rouse Edwards, She has read, again and again, my text with understanding and a unique perspective, 
Edenton ■ 2003 and has made valuable suggestions throughout. 







In 1663 King Charles II issued a charter granting the region that 
ultimately became North and South Carolina to eight Lords 
Proprietors, in return for their help in restoring him to the throne of 
England. The area that became northeastern North Carolina was 
among the three "counties" created by the Lords. Named "Albemarle" 
in honor of George Monck, the first Duke of Albemarle — one of the 
eight Lords Proprietors — the county embraced "all that parte of the 
province which lyeth on the north east or starboard side entring of the 
river Chowan . . . together with the Islands and Isletts within ten leages 

Among the motives cited for issuing the charter was "a laudable 
and pious zeal for the propagation of the Christian faith." In 1665 
a second proprietary charter followed. Both charters made express 
provision for building and endowing churches and chapels through- 
out the new territory, in accordance with the ecclesiastical laws of 

By 1669, however, there was no clergyman of any sort in the 
Albemarle, and traditional church-related functions, such as marriages, 
were performed by civil officers. The first Church of England missionary, 
Daniel Brett, did not appear in North Carolina until 1698. Sent by the 
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (later called the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, "the SPG"), he was 
deemed "not a man of high qualities." Described by colonial governor 
Henderson Walker as "ye Monster of ye Age," Mr. Brett disappeared 
after six months. At the turn of the century the colony had at least 
5,000 white settlers, in addition to blacks and native Americans, all 
"without priest or altar." 

1663 • Albemarle 
County is created. 

1698 • The first 
Church of England 
missionary comes to 
the colony. 


The Farish is Established 

170 1 - The first vestry Not until 1701 was definitive action taken to create a legitimate 
meets at the home of means for building churches and maintaining ministers. Parishes were 
Thomas Gilliam, created, including St. Paul's. And it was within St. Paul's parish that 
the first church of the new colony was established. 

Profound Purpose 

The story begins in the winter of 1701. Less than two weeks before 
Christmas Day twelve men gathered at the home of Thomas Gilliam, 
a planter who lived somewhere within the bounds of the property 
known today as Hayes, just across the present-day Queen Anne's 
Creek from Edenton's Water Street. 

The men gathered at Thomas Gilliam's with profound purpose. 
Just one month earlier, on November 12, the colonial Assembly had 
passed an Act to establish "Chowan parish" (originally known as 
"North East parish"and soon to become "St Paul's parish"). The 
Assembly was sometimes referred to as the House of Burgesses or "the 
Lower House" — "lower," that is, than the provincial Council, which 
was appointed by and created to advise the Proprietors' governor. The 
Assembly was composed of landowners elected to serve essentially as 
the colonial legislature. The twelve men who met on December 12, 
1701, had been appointed by that Assembly to serve as vestrymen of 
the new parish. 

The men who gathered for the first vestry meeting were the 
Honorable Henderson Walker, "a zealous churchman who by sheer 
ability rose to the highest office of the colony," to quote an anonymous 
nineteenth-century writer; Colonel Thomas Pollock, who became 
president of the Council and governor ex officio of the colony; 
Nathaniel Chevin, Council member and a justice of the General Court; 
William Duckinfield, John Blount, and Nicholas Crisp — also justices of 
the General Court (Crisp and Blount were at the time, or soon to become, 
members of the colonial Assembly); Colonel William Wilkinson, attor- 
ney and speaker of the Assembly; William Benbury, later a constable 
of the Albemarle; Captain Thomas Luten, deputy surveyor for 
Chowan Precinct; Edward Smithwick, a planter owning property in 


The Parish is Established 

the vicinity of Thomas Gilliam's farm at Hayes, who was also a member 
of the Assembly; Captain Thomas Blount; and James Long. 

These men came to assume their responsibilities for the manage- 
ment of the new parish, only one of which was to determine where a 
church should be built. These early vestrymen were, in effect, the 
county commissioners of their day. They were appointed at a time 
when, as in all the colonies, the functions of Church and State were 
essentially inter- related. 


?~ p 


vit.f /Y/*ssstft- 


////\ 5£ 

tyCpervi/foS /J&s ds^v ,t /tof s£ft 

Extract from the 
minutes of the first 
vestry meeting 


The Duties of the Vestry 

The first vestrymen of St. Paul's, and those who followed them until Duties are established 
the disestablishment of the Church in the late eighteenth century, for members of the 
administered programs that we typically associate with the services of vestry. 
county government. Their function was of a civic nature, and it differed 
entirely from the ecclesiastical nature of the duties performed by 
vestrymen of the post-Revolutionary period. 


The Parish is Established 

Vestrymen were chosen from all parts of the parish by tax-payers 
in an election run by the sheriff. They took the same oath of office as 
did other public officials. Although the November 12 Act of the 
Assembly made the Church of England the established church of 
North Carolina, no vestryman was required to be part of the Anglican 
communion. Each, however, had to be able to take the oath of office in 
the colony. 

Among many other tasks, vestrymen provided road maintenance, 
determined and levied taxes, provided the standard for weights and 
measures, oversaw maintenance of property boundaries, and settled 
boundary disputes. They took care of orphaned children and apprentices. 
They provided a school and schoolmaster, the necessities of life for 
paupers, medical care for the poor, and funeral costs for traveling 
strangers who died in the parish. They paid a bounty for the heads of 
animals that preyed on people, livestock, or crops. ("Vermin/'as these 
animals were called, might be anything from squirrels to wolves and 
wildcats.) Vestrymen had the power to impose fines and other penalties 
"for Sabbath breaking and profane swearing." In addition, they paid a 
pittance to lay readers (between five and ten cents a Sunday for 
services rendered), and set and dispensed the salaries paid to the clergy- 
men of the SPG. 

Messrs. Wilkinson and Luten were appointed wardens of the 
church, and Mr. Chevin clerk of the vestry. The creation of St. Paul's 
parish, Chowan precinct, had begun. 



1701 -The decision is The vestrymen of St. Paul's wasted no time in planning the 
made to erect a church erection of a church building. The Colonial Records report the business 
huildinq. conducted at the initial meeting of the vestry on December 12: " 
being debated where a church should be built, Mr. Edward Smithwick 
undertakes to give an acre of land upon his old plantation, and to give 
a conveyance for same to the Church Wardens hereafter appointed for 



The First Church Building 

the use and service of the precinct, to build a church upon, and for no 
other use, to acknowledge the same in open court." 

The specific location of the property that Edward Smithwick gave December 12, 1701 • 
to the parish church wardens on December 12, 1701, is unknown. The Edward Smithwick 
deed, recorded in April, 1702, acknowledges Mr. Smithwick's gift of donates land for the 
"Seventy yards square of land" (a small part of the 380-acre land grant first church. 
conveyed to Mr. Smithwick in 1694) "for to build and erect a Church." 
But the deed, like many of its day, fails to provide sufficient information 
to locate precisely the plot that he wished to convey. The deed states 
simply, "...said land to be on the road or the Highway from Thos. 
Gylliams in the woods joining on the old field of the s'd Mr. Edw'd 

By 1700 a number of large plantations had sprung up along the 
road that continues to run through the present Hayes, from Edenton 
Bay to Sandy Point at Albemarle Sound and on to the Yeopim River. In 
fact, a number of the first vestrymen are said to have lived along the 
"Yoppim" road or contiguous to it: Mr. Walker at Skinner's Point, Mr. 
Wilkinson at Sandy Point, Mr. Luten nearby at the original site of the 
house now called Mount Auburn, Mr. Blount at Mulberry Hill, Mr. 
Benbury at Benbury Hall (the farm was later called Athol), Mr. Crisp 
at Strawberry Hill, and Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Smithwick at Hayes. 
Popular local tradition favors the notion that Mr. Smithwick's donated 
land is near the intersection of this Yeopim road and Cherry's Point 
Road. Nothing can be proved, however, because no trace of the fragile 
original church building has been found. 

The building, twenty-five feet long, was little more than a roof on 
posts, surrounded by some form of walls, in the middle of Mr. 
Smithwick's plot. The windows were without glass and the "floor" 
was packed earth. At first there was neither pulpit for the minister nor 
pew for the reader or clerk. 

The cost of the crude structure was to be no more than twenty-five 
pounds, to "be levied by the pole [poll] upon the Tythables of the 
Precinct, the Church Wardens first endeavouring to raise the said 
money by contribution." (The Colonial Records cite 283 "tythables" in 



The Virst Church Building 

1702 • A modest 
structure is built by 
]ohn Porter. 

Richard Curton is 
chosen as the first 

October, 1702.) A "Collector/'to be appointed to receive the contributions, 
had "power to destrain in case of Refusal." 

Construction of the church was committed to John Porter, considered 
by some an astute businessman and by others a questionable character, 
who presented the most favorable bid for construction of the building. 
As work proceeded, members of the vestry expressed their dislike of 
the ceiling of the new structure, "by reason of the Boards being defaced." 
Mr. Porter therefore promised "to provide as much Lime as will wash 
the ceiling of the Chapel and the Vestry to be at the charge of a work- 
man to do the same." On December 15, 1702, having completed the 
building to the satisfaction of the vestry, Mr. Porter delivered the key 
to the vestrymen, almost a year to the day after their first meeting. 

The vestry agreed to buy "at as cheap a rate as possible . . . one fair 
and large book of common Prayer, and the Book of Homilies." The 
wardens, Messrs. Luten and Wilkinson, engaged Richard Curton as 
"Reader," whose duties were to make the responses when the clergy- 
man was present. "He acted also as sexton, taking charge of the building 
and keeping the key, providing the elements for the Holy 
Communion, the water for baptism, and the materials for fire." The 
reader was paid between seven and ten shillings per service. 

The vestry minutes of 1703-4 record that efforts were made to 
install glass panes in the open windows of the church building. It was 
further ordered that the wardens "do speedily agree with a workman 
to make pulpit and pew for the Reader with Desk fitting for the same." 
Whether either project was completed is uncertain. 


As the year 1703 began, therefore, there was in the Albemarle a 
fledgling parish with a little chapel and no clergy. Following the 
departure of Daniel Brett, the first recorded Anglican missionary in the 
area, the Reverend George Keith and the Reverend John Talbot were 
sent by the SPG to make "an inspection tour" of the colony. 


The Frist Clergymen 

While it is recorded that Mr. Keith preached in Currituck in May of 
1703, neither he nor Mr. Talbot reached St. Paul's parish, as ". . .there 
was no Passage from that Place [Currituck] by Land convenient to 
Travel, by reason of Swamps, and Marishes; and we had no way to go 
by Water but in a Canow over a great Bay, many Miles over which we 
essayed to do, but the Wind continuing several Days contrary, we 
returned to Virginia." 

"Shore of Albemarle 
Sound" by "Forte 
Crayon (DaviiH. 
Strother) , from 
Harper's New 
Monthly Magazine, 
March 1857 


Meanwhile, the Reverend John Blair, who was appointed missionary January, 1703 • 
to the colony by the SPG, arrived in the Albemarle in January, 1703. He The Reverend ]ohn 
reported that the people had little interest in religious matters and Blair attempts to make 
were hardly disposed to support a minister of the Church of England, a difference. 
In the narrative of his experience Mr. Blair confirmed the presence of 
church "edifices" in three precincts of the region: Pasquotank, 
Perquimans, and Chowan. He noted that in each of them he placed a 
reader for morning and evening prayer and sermons each Sunday 
when he could not be present. 

Officially appointed to his post in early March, 1704, John Blair 



The Frist Clergymen 

convened the vestries of all these parishes and informed them of the 
good intentions of the SPG. He also encouraged the procurement of 
glebes for each church — plots of farmland that, when cultivated, could 
yield revenue to the parish church. In what appears to be the first 
effort toward an endowment for the Church in North Carolina, Mr. 
Blair promised to each glebe a few slaves and some livestock. In addition, 
contemporary reports suggest that he gave all his salary to the poor. 
1703-4 • John Blair Mr. Blair was among the first to record the hardships and frustrations 
descrihes the hardship endured by early clergymen in the Albemarle. Reporting to the SPG, he 
of service in the wrote of the "mighty inconveniences" of travel in the area on roads as 
Albemarle, "deep and difficult to be found." His journeys required two horses, 
"one of which was for a guide, because there is no possibility for a 
stranger to find his road in that country, for if he once goes astray (it 
being such a Desert [unpopulated] country) it's a hazard if he ever 
finds his Road again." 

In the Wilderness 

The decision-makers of the SPG, settled comfortably in their parishes 
in England, had no understanding of the vast scope and raw nature of 
the territory they had assigned to their missionaries to the Albemarle. 
Time and again Mr. Blair tried to explain kindly and patiently what he 
was up against, suggesting in virtually all of his correspondence that 
additional men of the Church be sent to the region. 

"I was distant from any Minister 120 miles, so that if any case 
of difficulty or doubt should happen, with whom should I consult? 
And for my traveling through the Country, I rid one day 
with another, Sunday only Excepted, above thirty miles per 
diem in the worst road that I ever saw, and have sometimes 
layn whole nights in the woods ... I will now endeavor to 
show you how inefficient a single man's labor would be 
amongst so scattered a people." 

It appears that the good John Blair was succeeded by the Reverend 
Henry Gerrard who, as early as September, 1705, had "decline[d] his 


The First Clergymen 

Intentions of Serving" in both Perquimans and Chowan Precincts, 
preferring to limit his attentions to Chowan. Only a few months later, 
in January of the following year, he had begun to lose completely the 
support of the vestry, who reported, "Whereas several Scandalous 
Reports has been Spread abroad in this Government of the Rev. Mr. 
Henry Gerrard of Several Debauched Practices which (if true) tends 
highly to the Dishonour of Almighty God and to the Scandal of the 
Church. It is debated whether he shall be continued." Mr. Gerrard — 
presumably unable to "use his Utmost Endeavours to clear himself of 
these black Calumnies laid to his Charge" — left at some point before 
the end of 1706. 

In 1708 the Reverend William Gordon and the Reverend James 
Adams arrived in the Albemarle. Mr. Gordon, who was assigned to 
Perquimans and Chowan precincts, reported that, "Few [in Chowan] 
could read, and fewer write, even of the justices of the peace and the 
vestrymen, yet they seemed serious and well disposed to receive 
instruction." He wrote that the water was brackish; the food was "salt 
pork, but sometimes beef; their bread of Indian corn, which they were 
forced for want of mills to beat, and in this they were so careless and 
uncleanly, that there was but little difference between the corn in the 
horse manger and the bread on their tables." 

Mr. Gordon confirmed that in Chowan "there was no money, 
everyone buying and paying with his own commodities. . ." Although 
described by the vestrymen of St. Paul's parish as a man "whose pru- 
dent and pious example is well worthy our Imitation," Mr. Gordon 
did not last long, departing the region after only three months of hard 
service. Mr. Adams, assigned to Pasquotank and Currituck, died in 1710. 

By the end of 1711, therefore, Chowan had had the benefit of two 
respectable clergymen — John Blair and the Reverend William Gordon, 
both "pious men" — but their time in the Albemarle had been short, 
Mr. Blair ministering to the parish for only one year, and Mr. Gordon, 
for less than that. Between their tenures Henry Gerrard had, presumably, 
been "dismissed" by the vestry, after which the parish had gone with- 
out clergy for two years. 

1705 • The Reverend 
Henry Gerrard's short 
period of service ends 
in scandal. 

1708 • The Reverend 
William Gordon sets a 
"■prudent and pious 



1708 • The vestry 
decide to build 
a new church.. 

Side elevation {above) 
and floorplan [right) 
of "the church that 
was never built" 



A number of sources suggest that a second St. Paul's church was 
constructed in 1708 on the same site at Hayes, to replace the crude 
structure of 1702. Indeed, in 1910 members of "the DR" (the Daughters 
of the Revolution) placed a plaque on the exterior wall of the present 
church tower, stating that a church was built in 1708. 

It is true that at a meeting in July, 1708, the vestrymen unanimously 
agreed that a new church should be built, "a church of forty feet long, 
and twenty-four wide, fourteen feet from Tenent to Tenent for hight." 

That summer, the rector of the 
time, William Gordon, wrote to 
the SPG, apparently in vain, to 
request plans for a new church. 

The discovery in London of 
drawings of the proposed 1708 
church among the eighteenth- 
century papers of the SPG caused 
much excitement. 

Dr. Carl Lounsbury, architec- 
tural historian of the Colonial 
Williamsburg Foundation, calls 
the drawings "about the earliest 
extant drawings that I know of 
for a building in the American 



The ChuYch That Was Never Built 

The drawings present plans for a post-in-ground building "being 
40 foot long & 24 foot wide," with a pulpit and reading desk about 
half-way down the left side of the church. Pews flank both sides of the 
central aisle. Large round-topped windows are shown for the exterior 
walls. "The whole amount of Glass for Church is 325 foot." 

Wcft«a4 off ti 

Most interesting, however, is the drawing of a chancel screen. The 
chancel screen, also known as the "rood screen" — an allusion to the 
Cross — is, as Dr. Lounsbury writes, "a legacy of the unreformed 
medieval church. . . . considered essential at that time to separate the 
altar from members of the church. The idea was to inspire in those 
who approached the altar a sense of awe and reverence." 

Dr. Lounsbury continues, "The pendants of the chancel screen, 
one of the last that I know of, are typical of the late-seventeenth and 
early-eighteenth centuries. I have seen a slightly more elaborate one 
still in situ in Devonshire Church, Bermuda, that probably dates to 

Gable ends and 
chancel of" the church 
that was never built" 


2 3 


The Church That Was Never Built 

By the late seventeenth century, chancel screens were out of fash- 
ion in England. Puritans of that period sought what Dr. Lounsbury 
refers to as "the auditory church — where church members sat together 
to hear the Word, with no need to separate the altar from the general 
congregation." From the chancel screen there gradually evolved the 
much smaller altar rail, such as we see in St. Paul's today. The inclu- 
sion of a chancel screen makes the plans for "the church that was never 
built" all the more remarkable, recalling a style of church building that 
follows the ancient tradition of church construction in rural England. 

No evidence at all can be found to prove that construction of the 
proposed church ever began. The vestry records make no allusion to 
paying for a new chapel, and there are no references to the necessary 
construction work. It appears instead that the proposal to build anew 
was displaced by a continued effort to complete and improve "the 
Chapell which is already built." 



Rural chapels are The chapel "already built" at Hayes was one of several in the 
created to serve the area in the first years of the eighteenth century. The territory of min- 
farming settlers, istry within Chowan precinct was large, stretching from what is 
thought to be just north of the present Virginia line and south to the 
present Washington and Tyrrell counties; west into Bertie county and 
possibly as far as today's Hertford county; then east to Perquimans and 
Pasquotank. D aunting tasks faced a missionary in this "wilderness" of 
St. Paul's parish, charged with preaching to and baptizing a diverse 
population, most of whom were probably illiterate. The size of the 
precinct called for the construction of chapels to serve the needs of 

In addition to the chapel at Hayes, records also make mention of 
places of worship at Constants (also spelled "Costans," "Costins," and 
"Costens"), at Farless, at Sandy Run (or "Sandy Pine"), at Braddy's (or 
"Broddy's"), and at Indian Town (also called Knotty or "Notty" Pine), 



Places of Worship 

later defined as "Sarum Chapel." (The word "Sarum" comes from the 
ancient name of the Roman fortress of "Sorviodunum" in the south of 
England, the town now known as Salisbury.) 

Records and maps from the period give us little ability to locate 
exactly where the chapels were built. Letters from the early vestrymen 
of St. Paul's parish to the SPG typically refer to the chapels as part of 
a geographical quadrant, referring to the "South Shore," the "West 
Shore," and, in 1714, "but one Sorry Church on the North Shore of the 
Sound never finished, no ornaments belonging to a Church nor where- 
with to buy [any]" (possibly a reference to the Hayes chapel of 1702). 

Dr. Richard Dillard gives us some idea of where the Sarum Chapel 
could be found: "It was in all probability located at or near the 'Ballard 
place/ about three miles Northwest of Gatesville at the head of 'Sarum 
Creek.' It was three miles from Thos. Garrett's on Catherine's Creek to 
Thos. Boyle's Indian Town, located on their grant for 11,000 acres of 
land lying between Catherine Creek and Bennett's Creek, making it 
about five or six miles distant from the present town of Gatesville, 
North Carolina." 

The rural chapels in what are now the counties surrounding The rural chapels are 
Edenton were active in serving the needs of the people in their areas, served by missionaries 
In them, lay readers sought to provide Anglican services to their congre- and lay readers for 
gations as frequently as circumstances allowed. The parish financed some seventy years. 
the chapels until the American Revolution, and the money dispensed 
for their construction and maintenance was undoubtedly a drain on 
resources available for building a principal house of worship. 

At Hayes, by mid-year 1708, the wardens were still trying "to have 
finished with all possible speed" the pulpit, the desk, and "what other 
things belong to it." A floor was also ordered at the time to be "laid 
with Brick, but upon further Debate of the Matter it's agreed upon that 
the floor shall be laid with plank as being the Cheapest and Most 
expeditious way of having it done." Some sources report that glass 
panes were, in fact, placed in the window openings; others make no 
mention of the installation of glass. Purchase of land for a glebe "for 
the better Encouragement of a Minister" was discussed, and Edward 


Places of Worship 

Moseley, newly appointed to the vestry, was asked "please to treat 
with Mr. Frederick Jones" to buy a 500-acre tract of his plantation, 
considered to be"the fittest place" for that purpose. Mr. Jones had 
recently purchased from Edward Smithwick a large parcel of land at 
Hayes, which included the one-acre site of the small church of 1702. 

Progress was slow. In 1709 the Reverend James Adams, missionary 
to the Albemarle, wrote, "They built a church [in Chowan], but it is 
small, very sorrily put together, and is ill looked after." In 1711, the 
Reverend John Urmston described the church building at Hayes as 
"ready to drop down," with "neither floor nor seats, only a few loose 
benches upon the sand," adding that "... the key being lost the door 
has stood open ever since I came into the country. All the Hoggs and 
Cattle flee thither for shelter in the summer and warmth in the winter; 
they first dig holes and bury themselves, then with the rest make it a 
loathsome place." 

The 1702 church It is probable that this first church, given its crude construction 
building gradually and the fact that it was still unfinished as late as 1714, simply deterio- 
falls into disrepair, rated. Anglican services continued in the rural chapels, and by 1718 
members of St. Paul's congregated sometimes in the wooden court- 
house newly constructed on the present courthouse green. The town 
then consisted of the courthouse, two houses, and the town wharf. 



In December, 1711 the Reverend John Urmston (sometimes spelled 
Urmstone) arrived to serve the precincts of the Albemarle. He stayed 
for approximately ten years. 

Formerly a curate of Eastham, Essex in England, Mr. Urmston had 
a checkered career. He has been described as "a vivid and picturesque 
correspondent," "possessed of a brilliant mind." This is borne out in 
his many letters to the SPG, which are sophisticated, amusing, and 
delightful to read. In March, 1714, Mr. Urmston clearly had the support 
of the vestry, who wrote on his behalf to the SPG, citing their appreciation 

December, 1711 • The 
controversial minister 
John Urmston arrives. 



The Reverend John Urmston 

for his long stay in the colony ("long" relative to that of earlier mission- 
aries) and commending his "great pains and unwearied Diligence." 
The vestrymen noted "the great Fatigues and hardships which he hath 

Yet Giles Rainsford, a missionary who tried to serve the people 
whom Mr. Urmston allegedly could not reach, described him as "lame 
and [Urmston] says he cannot do now what he formerly has done, but 
this lazy distemper has seized him by what I hear ever since his coming 
to the country." The notable historian Francis Lister Hawks declared 
that Mr. Urmston did more to retard the spread of Christianity in 
North Carolina "than any and all causes combined." In the early 1900s 
Bishop Cheshire described Mr. Urmston as "the most disgraceful 
character in the history of the Church in America." And a more recent 
historian of the Anglican Church, Edgar Legare Pennington, called 
him quarrelsome, selfish, covetous, and lazy, "given to a cynical 
disposition and decidedly a misfit." 

Complaining vehemently (and, no doubt, with some justification) 
about the impossibility of effectively ministering to the inhabitants of 
the large territory assigned to him by the SPG, Mr. Urmston' s letters 
began to make clear that he despised his assignment to "such an 
obscure corner of the world, inhabited by the dregs and gleanings of 
all other English colonies." Indeed, he described the colony as "a hell 
of a hole," giving the most damning descriptions of the people of the 
parish, of the little church building at Hayes, and of the circumstances 
of life in the parish. Constantly grasping for money, he complained 
incessantly about what he believed to be the vestry's schemes to with- 
hold his salary, "And the longer I stay the worse it will be." 

Mr. Urmston returned to England in total disgrace. Nevertheless Mr. Urmstons 
he was sent back to the colonies by the SPG, first to Christ Church, ministry ends in 
Philadelphia, as "visiting Pastor," then to Cecil County, Maryland, disgrace. 
where he stayed for four years until he was dismissed for drunkenness 
"on weekdays and on several Sundays." 

He died, as the North Carolina Churchman recently recalled, "after 
falling into a fireplace during a drunken fit." 



On April 18, 1708, it had been "Resolved that Edward Moseley 
Esq r . shall Suceed in the Vestry in the Place of Cap*. Thomas Blount." 
Vestryman Edward Speaker of the Assembly before the proprietary colonies were 
Moseley plays an separated, Edward Moseley served as what today we may call a civil 
important role, servant, often concerned with mapping and surveying territory in the 
new colonies. Generally referred to as "Colonel" Moseley, he was part 
of the team that in 1728 drew the boundary between North Carolina 
and Virginia, and his name is given to the "Moseley map" of the early 
eighteenth century. 

He was clearly a highly intelligent man, generally trusted and 
respected. Efforts to trace his early background, however, have 
revealed little information. It is assumed that he came to this country 
from England, apparently trained as a lawyer, for he left a law library 
of two hundred books to one of his sons. 

Moseley is cited as having some involvement in the settlement of 
property owned by John Urmston, the former rector of the parish, at 
what is now Athol on Albemarle Sound. We also have records of his 
attempts to see justice done to Governor Charles Eden and his 
secretary, Tobias Knight, for what he believed was their trafficking in 
contraband with pirates. 

Mr. Moseley' s first wife (nee Anne Lillington) was the widow of 
colonial governor Henderson Walker, a first vestryman of St. Paul's, 
who had died at age forty. By his marriage to Mrs. Walker, Edward 
Moseley inherited the responsibility of settling the late governor's estate, 
including the "ten pounds sterling" sent in 1703 to Governor Walker 
by Virginia governor Francis Nicholson for the purchase of "'Church 
Plate' in this our Precinct and Parish of St. Paul's." 

Vestry minutes show that it had been "ordered that ten pound in 
Pieces of Eight with 17 p.wt. [penny weight] shall be sent to Boston to 
Purchase a Chalice of the Use of the Church with this Motto: Ex Bono 
ffrancia Nicholson Esq. her Majesty's Lieutenant Gov.r of her 


The Communion Silver 

Majesty's Colony and Dominion of Virginia." And indeed, the money 
had been sent to Boston silversmith, Jeremiah Dummer, who had since 
died, at approximately the same time as Governor Walker. 

In 1713 it was "ordered that [the wardens] do sue Mr. Edward 
Moseley pursuant to a former Order of Vestry for the Money in his 
Hands." The vestry had no foundation in fact to pursue a lawsuit 
because the money was tied up in the estate settlements of both 
deceased men, and not in Mr. Moseley's hands. Mr. Moseley, never- 
theless, later honored his inherited obligation to the parish at his own 
expense. Vestry minutes record that "Col. Edward Moseley made a 
present to the Parish of a Silver Chalice and Plate with his Own Name 
Engraven thereon." 

The paten and chalice, formerly thought to have come from 
Boston, were probably made in Williamsburg: they bear the maker's 
initials "AK," possibly Alexander Kerr, a silversmith active in 
Williamsburg at that time. Each is inscribed, "The Gift of Colonell 
Edward Mosely, for y e use of y e Church in Edenton in the year 1725," 
apparently the date of their manufacture. 

Money is sent to 
Boston to buy church 

The silver paten and 
chalice donated by 
Edward Moseley 


2 9 


1712-26 ■ Heroic 
efforts are made to 
serve the people of the 
growing colony. 

The plight of Anglican missionaries in colonial North 
Carolina, especially in the Albemarle, has been well described by 
Edgar Legare Pennington: 

"[they] belong to the annals of true American heroism. ... In no colony 
did the ministers have larger and more difficult fields to cover; 
in no colony did they meet with greater obstacles, physical, spiritual, 
and political. Cut off from the centres of population, far removed 
from the company of educated men, and faced by frontier conditions 
of the grimmest and most prosaic sort, [they] endured hardness 
for the sake of the Master in a way that must fill the most indifferent 
student with admiration." 

Between the years 1712 and 1726, in addition to Mr. Urmston who 
served as the appointed minister of the parish, five Anglican clergy- 
men were sent to Chowan. Each of the itinerant ministers had experiences 
unfortunate at best and sometimes devastating. 

The pious Giles Rainsford, who came to the Albemarle possibly as 
early as June, 1712, was captured by Indians while on a preaching 
journey, detained, then released under guard. Terrified, he moved to 
Virginia within four years of the beginning of his ministry. 

The Reverend Ebenezer Taylor, who succeeded him, serving chiefly 
on "the southwestern shore" of Chowan (most likely in what is now 
Washington County), was robbed, it is thought, and murdered while 
on a missionary trip from Bath to Core Sound. 

The Reverend Thomas Newnam (or Newman, as his name is 
sometimes spelled) was sent to the Albemarle in 1722. As the only clergy- 
man in the region, he was obliged to serve four or five parishes by 
turn. He died within a year, probably from exhaustion and exposure. 
The vestry commended "the said Mr. Newnam's Pious and good 
Behaviour during the Time of his Mission among us," and made 
arrangements "toward the Accommodation of his Widow's intended 


The Hardships of Service 

Voyage to Great Britain." Mr. New- 
nam is listed as an early rector of 
St. Paul's. 

The Reverend John Blacknall, 
also held to be among the earliest 
rectors of St. Paul's, succeeded 
Mr. Newnam in 1725. Although 
little is known of him, judicial 
records indicate that he was 
brought before the court for 
solemnising an illegal marriage. 
Mr. Blacknall left in 1726. 

The Reverend Thomas Bailey, 
a missionary who in 1725 had 
fled his wretched reputation in 
Philadelphia, proved a drunkard 
and a trouble-maker. No record 
of his service at St. Paul's can be 

For six years after Mr. Blacknall's departure, the parish was paid 
only intermittent attention by missionaries who remained typically for 
less than a year. Among them were the Reverend Mr. Fountain and the 
Reverend Richard Marsden (1728-9), and the Reverend Mr. Robinson 
and the Reverend Walter Jones (1730). It appears that St. Paul's parish 
had no assigned Anglican clergyman until the appointment in 1732 of 
the Reverend Bevil Granville, described as "effective and industri- 

The Reverend John Boyd, rector of Society Parish in what is now 
Bertie County, also came to St. Paul's several times between 1732 and 
1736. On one occasion it is noted that his surplice, showing the effects 
of hard use and much travel on muddy roads, had to be laundered at 
the expense of the parish, a sum of ten shillings. A Scottish physician 
trained at the University of Glasgow, Dr. Boyd died in 1738. 

The Reverend John Garzia, from Bath, also an occasional visitor to 



The Hardships of Service 

Edenton in the years before 1738, was recommended as Dr. Boyd's 
successor in Bertie. He died in November, 1744, after falling from his 
horse while visiting the sick. 



1722 ■ A capital is Significant change had occurred in 1722, when the Lords 
created and called Proprietors decided to establish a capital for governing the growing 
Edenton. Carolina colony. The logical choice was a place where the greatest 
opportunity for commerce could be found, a safe harbor on a bay 
providing (at the time) easy access to the ocean. In recognition of the 
deceased royal governor, Charles Eden, the capital was to be called 
Edenton, and orders were given to erect buildings appropriate for a 
colonial capital. 

The commissioners saw the advantage of constructing the buildings 
of the capital on the highest ground in the area: the intersection of the 
present Broad and Church Streets. The waterfront was a working 
place, with piers and warehouses and only a sandy beach to serve as 
a street. At Broad and Church Streets three parcels of land were chosen: 
one for a marketplace (the site of the present Edenton post office and 
part of the Iredell House property); one for a precinct courthouse (not 
constructed until 1980); and one for a church to be surrounded by a 
public cemetery. 

As the Colonial Records of November 30, 1724, show, 

"the Church Wardens were ordered to desire the Commissioners for 
Building a Court House and Other Buildings to draw from the hands 
of the Lords Proprietors' Receiver General the sum of 200 pounds sterling 
and also the sum of 200 pounds, out of the hands of the Public Treasurer, 
the same being appropriated for the building of a church at Edenton 
and the Commissioners be desired to proceed on the same building." 

Despite the funding of four hundred pounds, with the instruction 
that the parish raise the additional funds needed, twelve years elapsed 



The First Colonial Cpital 

before the construction of St. Paul's began. Building the courthouse, 
jail, and additional government buildings took priority. 

The initial step toward building the brick church that is the present 
St. Paul's was taken in 1729, when the church wardens in charge of the 
project, colonial governor Richard Everard and Edward Moseley, met 
with some difficulties, "... being always hindered by our secretary, 
one Mr. John Lovick, a man of no religion, fears not God nor man, 
believes neither, seldom seen at any place of divine worship, his 
money is his God, ridicules all goodness. While such a man is in 
power no good can be expected." 

Construction of the new church finally began in 1736. In the tiny 1736 • Construction of 
town of Edenton — at that time no more than a jumble of small clap- a new brick church 
board houses in the wilderness — plans were made to erect a large begins. 
brick church. In comparison with the humble dwellings of the town, 
the new St. Paul's was intended to be impressive, a grand structure 
symbolic of the power vested in a colonial capital. 

In 1743, however, the government left Edenton as new settlers 
moved south and west. Development in the town slowed, and the 
political need for a large handsome church existed no longer. This was 
the Edenton, abandoned as the center of government, that the 
Reverend Clement Hall found on his arrival in the parish. And it was 
here in St. Paul's parish that the remarkable Mr. Hall made his most 
valuable contribution: his diligent ministry to the people. 



The North Carolina historian William S. Powell, has observed 
that the Reverend Clement Hall was 

"such an outstanding colonial missionary that his record has been 
widely cited by church historians for more than two centuries. 
Indeed, even before his death his service was pointed to with pride by 
his contemporaries, and there were many favorable comments on 
the splendid work he did among the scattered settlements in 



The Reverend Clement Hall 

the Albemarle section of North Carolina. Yet Hall was an humble 
man who frequently bemoaned the fact that he was never able to 
accomplish as much as he desired." 

As is true in the case of so many early settlers in North Carolina, 
his origins are not clear. It is known that he and his brother, Robert, 
were born in England, perhaps in Coventry, at the heart of the South 
Midlands, and that they came to this country together. The earliest 
contemporary reference to Clement Hall in North Carolina is from a 
deed dated October 18, 1731, that indicates he bought property and set- 
tled on the northeast side of the Perquimans River. Mr. Hall became 
Justice of the Peace in 1739, and served as a lay reader in the Church 
of England chapel in Perquimans County. It appears that he went back 
to England to bring his mother to the colony some time before his 
marriage to Frances Foster in the summer of 1742. Soon after this, his 
brother married Ami Leary of Chowan. 

In 1743 Mr. Hall returned again to London, to seek ordination as a 
missionary of the SPG. He was appointed missionary in January, 1744, 
and ordained priest in June, possibly on St. John Baptist's Day. On his 
return to St. Paul's parish in 1744 to resume his duties as a newly 
ordained priest, his voyage from England to North Carolina took four- 
teen weeks, from the middle of August to the latter part of November, 
"a tedious passage," as he described it. 

1744 The Reverend On February 27, 1745, Mr. Hall sent his first report to his superiors 

Clement Hall begins at the SPG in London: 

his outstanding 

"I have very lately agreed with the Vestry of Chowan [St. Paul's] 
Parish for 45 pounds per annum & to settle near Edenton and to 
officiate in the Court house there in town two Sundays (until the 
Church is built), and every third at 30 or 40 Miles distance, the 
parish being of vast extent and the tytheables about 1200..." 

Within the next three months he baptized one hundred people and 
delivered sermons in a dozen different places in the huge district he 
had to cover. While his chief assignment was to serve as a missionary 
based in Edenton, his ministry was expansive. Because the colony lacked 



The Reverend Clement Hall 

additional clergy, Mr. Hall preached in four counties of northeastern 1745-55 
North Carolina. He wrote that his intention was to visit every settlement Clement Hall travels 
in his mission during the spring of 1745, estimating that his visits extensively, preaching 
would require at least four hundred miles of riding. to large gatherings and 

From the statistical records of the SPG, which are based on Mr. baptizing hundreds. 
Hall's correspondence, it is known that his ministry was vast. At least 
twice each year he journeyed through this large territory, seldom 
reporting a trip of less than two hundred miles. In 1751 he traveled 557 
miles, and in 1755 he reported that he was traveling 2,200 miles a year. 
On each tour he most often preached fourteen or sixteen times in 
chapels at various places throughout the territory; but on numerous 
occasions he reported congregations of as many as six hundred at out- 
door services. Records show that he instructed blacks and children in 
preparation for baptism, "churched" women, visited the sick, and 
distributed tracts supplied by the SPG. He administered the Holy 
Communion sometimes to as many as 300. 

"Though my duty is very hard and I must expect to meet with 
some difficulties," Mr. Hall wrote in 1745, "I have the countenance of 
the Governor who is a pious and worthy Gentleman, and the good 
will of all good Protestants in the place that know me." 

Construction of the new church was slow, as he reported: 

"I am sorry to acquaint you that the Church at Edenton is yet 
unfinished, but now we have good hopes of its going forward; 
& in the mean time Divine Service is performed in the Court house, 
the Congregation behaving with devotion & decency, several of which 
are very desirous to receive the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 
We are at a loss for a Church Bible & Common prayer book having 
none in my library; neither is there any here to be bought." 

Considering the vast expanse of the missionary field, the number of 
miles that he walked or rode in bad weather through sometimes 
treacherous territory, and the effort required to baptize, instruct, and 
care for hundreds of individuals, it is hardly surprising that, like so 
many in the region in the 1750s, Mr. Hall endured ill health. 


The Reveyend Clement Hall 

Although he wrote little about his health, and never with complaint, 
we know that from 1750 until his death in 1759 he was very sick from 
time to time, suffering variously from "an obstinate Cough, slow fever 
& bad appetite," "the Hemmorhoids," and, in 1757, an attack of 
pleurisy. "I have reason to believe," he wrote in 1752, "my Health & 
constitution is much Impaired & Broken by reason of my continual 
Labours in my offices. . ." adding, with reference to his mother's recent 
death, "I can't expect to be long after her, for I have been growing 
worse in health ever [since]..." 

The First Devotional Book 

1753 Clement Hall's It was probably during this period that Mr. Hall produced his little 
Collection is the first book, A Collection of Many Christian Experiences, Sentences, and Several 
non-legal hook to he Places of Scripture Improved. Published in New Bern in 1753, it was both 
puhlished in the the first non-legal book printed in North Carolina and the first book 
colony, written by a citizen of the colony and published in the colony. 

The Collection includes quotations or paraphrases from many 
books of the Bible, prayers for families and children, and directions for 
observing Sundays. The section "Serious Advice to Persons Who Have 
Been Sick... with a Thanksgiving for Recovery," was actually written 
by Edmund Gibson, Bishop of London (1723-48), who had approved 
Mr. Hall's admission to Holy Orders in 1743 and remained his friend. 
The bulk of the Collection, however, consists of proverbs, many of 
which originated with Mr. Hall. 

In the introduction, "To the Candid Reader," Mr. Hall confesses 
that he conceived the book as he journeyed about his parish, as a 
means of keeping his thoughts employed on good subjects, with the 
hope that "it might also be of some Use to others, who have a Desire 
to improve their Time upon the like Occasions, or when on a Winter's 
night or a rainy Day they have Leisure to peruse it, instead of Drinking, 
Gaming, or telling of an idle or slandrous Tale; I have ventured to put 
this Mite into the Treasury." 

Throughout his ministry Mr. Hall was deeply concerned about 
education for all his people, repeatedly begging for books from 



The Reverend Clement Hall 



Chriftian Experiences, Sentences, 


Places of Scripture Improved : 


Some fhort and plain Directions and Prayers 
for fick Perfons ; with fcrious Advice to Perfons 
who have been lick, to be by thera perufed and put 
in Practice as foon as they are recovered ; and * 
Thanksgiving for Recovery. 

To which is aBicd, 
Morning and Evening Prayers for Families and Chil- 
dren, Dire&ions for the Lord's-Day, and fome Cautions 
againft Indecencies in Time of Divine Service, c5V. 

Collected and Compofed for the Spiritual Good of his Pariih- 
oners, and others. 

By C. H. Miffionary to the Honourable Society for theProtaga- 
tion of the G off el in Foreign Parts, and Rctlor cf St. Paul** 
Parijb, in North-Carolina. 

O t hotu fwtet are thy Words unto my Tafe, yea /wetter than 
Honey to my Mouth, Pfal. cxix. 103. 

Jam 'well pleafed that the Lord hath beard the Voice of my 
Prayer, that he bath inclined his Ear unto me ; tberefort 
nvill 1 call upon him as long as I live, Pfal. cxvi. 12. 

Facsimile of the title 
faqe of Clement 
Hall's Collection 


N E JV B E R N: 
Printed by JAMES DAVIS, M,dcc,lhi. 



The Reveyend Clement Hall 

England — Bibles, prayer books, catechisms, "Manuals for the Devout," 
collections of sermons, and theological works. Sadly, the house that he 
had built only two years earlier and named "Shelton" (on the site of 
the present Shelton, just off the Virginia Road) burned in December, 
1755, and his books were destroyed. One copy of the Collection sur- 
vived the fire and this original volume is now in the rare book room of 
the library at Duke University in Durham. 
1755 ■ Mr. Hall's On June 25, 1755, in failing health, Mr. Hall asked the SPG to confine 
health deteriorates, his labors to Chowan County: "Mr. Hall humbly begs the Society to 
consider his Age & former Services so far as to appoint him Parochial 
Minister to the Parish of St. Paul's in Chowan County." It was not until 
1757, however, that the Society granted his request, thereby relieving 
him of his duties as missionary to all of northeastern North Carolina 
and focusing his efforts on St. Paul's. Hall nevertheless continued to 
visit his old itinerant field, officiating as needed "in those Parishes 
where there is no Minister." 

Throughout the course of his service Mr. Hall kept the Society 
informed about the progress being made in the construction of the 
1736-58 • Work church in Edenton. As the Virginia Gazette reported in 1736, it was to 
on the new church be "a large, handsome Brick Church, with a Steeple ... many of the 
proceeds slowly. Bricks being already burnt; great Part of the Charge of which is to be 
defrayed by the generous Subscription of well-disposed Gentlemen, 
and the Remainder by the Parish." 

In 1746 Mr. Hall noted that the roof had finally been raised over 
the church. In 1749 he reported that Francis Corbin, agent for the 
proprietory Earl of Granville, "... will do his true endeavour to have it 
finished." In 1751, "the Brick are now making to enclose the Church at 
Edenton," and in 1752 he noted that Corbin and others were "taking 
proper Methods for finishing their Church." In 1754 nothing more def- 
inite than brick-making was going forward, but in 1755 Mr. Hall 
expressed hope that work on the church, begun twenty years earlier, 
would soon be finished. In June, 1758, he was bold to write that the 
church was to be finished and fit for use that year, by Michaelmas, 
September 29. 



Tumultuous Times 

But it was not to be. When the Reverend Clement Hall died in 1759 -The Reverend 
January, 1759, possibly at the age of 59 (the exact date of his birth is Clement Hall dies. 
unknown), St. Paul's Church was still unfinished; it was not used for 
worship until more than a year after his death. 

Clement Hall's ministry had been one of intense and unflagging 
service. His example of self-sacrifice and devotion has been lauded as 
unsurpassed. At St. Paul's the grave beneath the north end of the altar, 
a place traditionally reserved in English churches for the burial of a 
cherished rector, is believed to be his. 



Daniel Earl, successor to Mr. Hall, served St. Paul's for 
more than twenty years — from 1757 until 1778 — during a disruptive 
period in American history: the years before and during the war for 
independence — the American Revolution. 

Mr. Earl was ordained by the Bishop of London in September, 
1756, in the cathedral city of Rochester in southeast England. The 
following year he was sent by the SPG to the Albemarle region to serve 
as a schoolmaster in Edenton. Shortly after his arrival in the parish, he 
married Elizabeth Gregory of Chowan County, and bought Boyd's 
Burgh, a property so named because it had been owned by the 
Reverend John Boyd, the early missionary to the parish. Like many 
land owners near the Chowan River, Daniel Earl had a fishery there. 

After Elizabeth Gregory died, Mr. Earl married Charity Jones, the 
sister of Thomas Jones, clerk of court in Chowan County. The union 
produced two daughters, Elizabeth and Ann. Elizabeth married 
Charles Johnson of Strawberry Hill, and they became the parents of 
Charles Earl Johnson, who inherited the Earl property. In 1828, Charles 
Earl Johnson built a house, a farm office, a smokehouse, and a brick 
kitchen there. (The house burned in 1963, the farm office was moved 
to the grounds of the Iredell House in town, and the kitchen and 
smokehouse remain at the site, renamed "Bandon" in the late 1840s.) 


Tumultuous Times 

1757 ■ The Reverend 
Daniel Earl's two 
decades of service beqin 

Rebellious sentiments 
toward the Crown 
beqin to qrow. 

As Clement Hall's health deteriorated, Mr. Earl, an ordained priest, 
was needed to serve as his assistant. Records indicate that he was 
appointed reader to substitute for the minister, and, on the death of 
Mr. Hall, rector of St. Paul's and missionary to the region at large. 

Mr. Earl preached at Edenton and at the rural chapels. Like his 
predecessors, he recounted in his annual reports to the SPG the hard- 
ships experienced by a missionary in a large colonial parish. Mr. Earl 
reported many baptisms and also described the poor physical condi- 
tion of St. Paul's Church. He pleaded for funds for the parish school 
(shown on the Sauthier map of 1769 on a lot immediately across Gale 
Street from St. Paul's churchyard). 

Controversy and Change 

When Daniel Earl assumed his position as rector of St. Paul's in 1759, 
signs of a trend toward independence from Great Britain had already 
begun to appear, and decades of distrust of the Mother Country came 
to a climax during the years of his ministry. In 1760, as just one example 
of the mounting tension, we find that the royal governor, Arthur 
Dobbs, appealed to the King to strengthen his hand so that he could 
effectively "oppose and suppress a republican spirit of independency 
rising in this [North Carolina] colony." 

Impending rebellion against the Crown had a devastating effect on 
the Anglican Church in this country, and St. Paul's was no exception. 
Yet parishioners continued to struggle toward completion of the 
church building, begun years earlier in 1736. In his correspondence 
with the SPG Mr. Earl frequently described St. Paul's Church as 
"dilapidated." But in 1760 the church was in sufficiently good condition 
to accommodate the first meeting there of the vestry. No record of the 
date of the first divine service at St. Paul's remains, although it is likely 
that the first service was held on the Sunday following the first vestry 

Over the next fifteen years, sporadic efforts were made to maintain 
the building and also to complete the interior. In 1764 "Good Glass" 
was ordered to be put into the windows "where any is broken out," 
and the "Ruff" [roof] was to be "well tared [tarred] over." Lock and 


Tumultuous Times 

key for the church door were purchased in that year. Doors were 
repaired in 1765, and in the following year Hance Hofler, a vestryman, 
was authorized to make "such further Repairs to the church as he 
considers necessary." In 1769 architect John Hawks designed a cupola 
for the tower, but it was never erected. And in 1774 interior woodwork 
was installed to complete the church in a "good decent workmanlike 
manner." The next year a pulpit was built. 

While the effects of the coming revolution were destructive to St. 
Paul's, Edenton's economy thrived. Unlike Boston harbor, where in 
1773 the British closed the port in response to the Boston Tea Party, the 
Port of Roanoke (Edenton harbor) remained open and served as a center 
for shipping tons of relief supplies to the besieged northern colonies. 
Thriving commerce and the hope of gain through maritime trade 
created opportunity for a number of Edenton businessmen who later 
distinguished themselves in the cause for independence. 

Joseph Hewes, who had lived in Edenton for years, was a clerk 
and later a partner of the firm of Charles Blount, and went on to 
became a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hugh William- 
son, although not long in Edenton, became a signer of the U.S. 
Constitution. Samuel Johnston, a long-time Edenton resident, became 
the first senator from North Carolina and one of the earliest governors 
of the young state. James Iredell, Sr., who arrived in Edenton in 1768 
to accept a job arranged for him by a relative, later became a justice of 
the first U.S. Supreme Court. Thomas Jones, who served as clerk of 
court, later became a writer of the constitution of the new state of 
North Carolina. All were members of St. Paul's, and all were prominent 
figures in the American Revolution. 

The port of Edenton 
thrives as revolutionary 
fever aathers. 

Members of St. Paul's 
become leaders in the 
patriotic cause. 


On June 19, 1776, the Vestry signed what is known in the history 
of the parish as "the Test," an oath of office that every elected official 
of the provincial government, including vestrymen, was required 
to sign. 



The Test 

June ig, 1776 ■ 
"The Test" is signed by 
leaders of the -parish: 
Richard Hoskins 
David Rice 
Aaron Hill 
Feletiah Walton 
William Hinton 
Thomas Bonner 
William Boyd 
Thomas Benbury 
Jacob Hunter 
John Beasley 
William Bennett 
William Roberts 


/S+.-*y*>> y^&tt ^f^ffe^ ^ 


$5 /vw 


A political declaration, not an ecclesiastical one, the Test was adopt- 
ed by the third Provincial Congress of North Carolina at Hillsborough 
on August 23, 1775. It was created to define the position of all men in 
office in North Carolina toward the Crown, the royal governor, and 
the colony. The Test had nothing to do with the Church, as such, and 
proves that Anglicans were not required to be loyal to the Crown. 

At the third Provincial Congress it was agreed that members of the 
congress would qualify by taking an oath in the presence of three 
members of the council, acknowledging allegiance to the Crown, but 
denying the right of Parliament to levy internal taxes in the colonies; 
they also would agree to obey the acts and resolutions of both the 
Provincial and Continental Congresses. 

Vestrymen in Edenton signed the Test in the wake of a number of 
events that occurred in rapid succession, propelling the colonies to 
rebellion. These included: 

March, 1773: the creation of the Committees of Correspondence; 

August, 1774: the meeting of the first Provincial Congress, calling 
for the creation of the Continental Congress; 



The Test 

October, 1774 and May, 1775: the first and second meetings of the Events escalate, 

Continental Congress; leading to rebellion. 

April, 1775: the second Provincial Congress, endorsing the rights of 
the people to act independently of the royal governor; 

April 19, 1775: the battles of Lexington and Concord, with "the shot 
heard 'round the world"; 

May, 1775: the flight of royal governor Josiah Martin; 

July, 1775: the destruction of the buildings of Fort Johnston at the 
mouth of the Cape Fear River, cited as the first overt act of war in 
the colony; 

August, 1775: the third Provincial Congress in Hillsborough, which 
sought to create an army and to provide a government for North 
Carolina in the "absence" of Governor Martin; 

April, 1776: the fourth North Carolina Provincial Congress, 
empowering its delegate to the Continental Congress to concur 
with representatives from the twelve other colonies in "declaring 

The Test professed allegiance to the King, and went on to declare 
that "the people of this Province, singly and collectively, are bound by 
the Acts and Resolutions of the Continental and Provincial Congresses, 
because in both they are freely represented by persons chosen by 
themselves." No doubt the oath of allegiance to the King was included 
to escape the accusation of treason, and to avoid the same fate that 
Bostonians had suffered at the closing of their harbor. Also of note, the 
Test subtly made clear that the signers' loyalties were to the colony, not 
to the royal governor. 

The Test was signed by the twelve vestrymen then serving St. 
Paul's just fifteen days prior to the signing of the Declaration of 
Independence. A tablet on the wall at the back of St. Paul's, on the left 
of the principal entrance through the tower, presents the Test in full 
and commemorates the vestrymen who signed it. 



The Test 

Independence has far- Independence had serious repercussions for the Church. The 
reachinq consequences citizenry decided to separate Church and State, thus effectively dis- 
for the Church, establishing the Church, and State support all but ceased. 

The constitution of 1776 contained three articles relating to the 
separation of Church and State: membership in the Assembly and 
Council was forbidden to active clergymen; the holding of public 
office was limited to persons who did not deny "the Being of God, or 
the Truth of the Protestant Religion"; and it was decreed that no 
church should ever be established, nor any person compelled to attend 
services or pay for a glebe, church, or minister unless he voluntarily 
agreed to do so. Essentially, all means of support from the Church of 
England were cut off from the Anglican communion in this country. In 
the words of the historian Sarah McCulloh Lemmon, "it was as if the 
Church ceased to breathe in 1776 and slowly died." 

The Reverend Daniel Earl had been an active sympathizer in the 
struggle of the colonies for independence. He presided over the meeting 
of the vestry to endorse the acts of the third Provincial Congress, 
leading to the signing of the Test in the following year, and was 
appointed chairman of a committee to enhance the manufacturing 
capacities of the colony to provide supplies to the domestic militia in 
the event of a split from Great Britain. 

In 1775, aging and in failing health, Mr. Earl was granted an 
assistant by the SPG, and in 1778, with little means of support and a 
dwindling flock of parishioners, he left St. Paul's. Daniel Earl died in 
1790 and was buried at his farm on the Chowan River, just fifteen 
miles from Edenton. His assistant, Charles Pettigrew, succeeded him. 


"parson" pettigrew 

Born in Pennsylvania in 1744 and educated by a Presbyterian 
clergyman in Granville County, North Carolina, Mr. Pettigrew was 
employed to open a school in Bute County (now Franklin and Warren 
Counties), where he taught from 1766 until 1773, when he was 



"Farson" Fettigrew 

employed to run the parish 
school in Edenton. Required in 
this capacity to be a member of 
the Church of England (he was 
yet a Presbyterian), he became a 
lay reader at St. Paul's and began 
studies to become an Anglican 

In March, 1775 Mr. Pettigrew 
was ordained in England by 
the Bishops of London and 
Rochester, before returning to 
Edenton to help Daniel Earl at St. 
Paul's and at the "chapels of 
ease" in the counties. In 1778 he 
was named rector of St. Paul's. 

A moderate patriot himself, 
the Reverend Charles Pettigrew 

preached appropriate sermons to patriotic assemblages, but he was 
deemed "insufficiently fiery" to appease the Blounts, a powerful family 
established chiefly on the south side of Albemarle Sound, who sought 
to have him drafted for military service despite his clerical standing. 
Indeed, Mr. Pettigrew served in the militia for a few weeks in 1780, 
until he was able to produce an able-bodied substitute for himself and 
thus escape battle duty. 

It was a grim time. Like all Anglican churches in America, St. Times are hard for 
Paul's had lost support from the Church of England, and, lacking St. Paul's and other 
funding, had no way to pay a minister or to attract a new clergyman. Anglican churches in 
Furthermore, there was no way for the Anglican churches to appoint a America. 
bishop or have him consecrated. Vestry members of St. Paul's, whose 
focus had always been secular, were stripped of all responsibilities 
except for charity, and designated solely "the Court of the Overseers 
of the Poor." Their only remaining ecclesiastical responsibility was to 
raise money to support the counties' chapels. 


"FaYson" Fettigrew 

1790 • The first steps 
are taken toward the 
formation of an 
Episcopal diocese in 
North Carolina. 

Elected the first bishop 
of the diocese, Charles 
Fettiarew fails to he 

During this time St. Paul's had no established rector and essentially 
no congregation (some members of St. Paul's had begun to attend 
services at the Baptist and Methodist churches where ministers were 
in place). This accounts for the absence of vestry minutes at St. Paul's 
from 1778 until late in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. 

During this period efforts were made to pick up the pieces of the 
shattered church. Between 1790 and 1794 Mr. Pettigrew participated in 
a movement to organize the former Anglican church into the 
Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, promoting four conventions for 
this purpose. 

Only four people attended the first convention. Mr. Pettigrew 
explained the lame attendance thus: "The Clergy of this State find it 
necessary to engage in the business of farming, for the support of their 
families... [as] this is perhaps the most busy season of the year." 

The second convention, in Tarboro in 1794, was more successful, 
and Mr. Pettigrew was elected bishop of the proposed diocese. He did 
not, however, attend the next two triennial conventions, where he 
could have been consecrated. It is suggested that he was turned back 
from his journey on each occasion because of reported outbreaks of 
deadly yellow fever in Norfolk (the location of the first convention) 
and in Philadelphia (the second). Nevertheless, for his failure to be 
consecrated, he received scathing letters from the organizers of the 
conventions, one in 1799 seeking his resignation at the next diocesan 

In the years following his election as bishop, Charles Pettigrew 
corresponded with other clergymen in the state, urging the organization 
of vestries, and he preached in the chapels in his territory, but made 
little effort otherwise. In his memoirs Bishop White of Pennsylvania 
wrote of Mr. Pettigrew, "Why nothing was done [after Mr. Pettigrew's 
election as bishop], for the carrying of the design into effect, is not 
known. . ." Mr. Pettigrew himself, appearing to recognize his own short- 
comings, wrote in 1795, "I most sincerely wish that some Episcopal 
clergyman of eminence would come into our State. I would cheerfully 
resign my appointment in his favor." 



"Parson" Fettigrew 

It is true, however, that Mr. Pettigrew, whose only income came 
from his plantations, preached "without gratuity or reward," wrote 
many hymns, religious poems, and sermons, and built chapels with 
funds from his own pocket. But his limited efforts were not enough to 
reverse the devastating effects of the American Revolution on the 
Church. Charles Pettigrew appears to have had greater success as a 
planter than as a man of the cloth. When he died in 1807 he was the 
owner of two plantations in North Carolina, eight hundred acres of 
land in Tennessee, thirty-four slaves, a chapel (St. David's at Creswell), 
and "a good house." He was buried beside his first wife, Mary Blount, 
at her family home at Mulberry Hill. In 1831 his remains were moved 
by his only surviving son to the family cemetery at Bonarva Plantation 
near Lake Phelps. 

Almost one hundred years later, in 1930, the great-granddaughters 
of Charles Pettigrew donated to St. Paul's his Bible and prayer book, 
both dating from 1773. The fly-leaves of the Bible bear the inscription 
"The Births of Negroes, Cs. Pw.," listing fifty-seven between 1740 and 
1807. The margins of the prayer book contain changes adapting the 
English to American usage, omitting, for example, the prayer "for the 
Royal Family." 



A slow but steady deterioration in the Church's strength was 1794-1810- 
evident after 1794. From 1794 until 1810, only five active Episcopal The Anglican Church 
clergymen served the state, Charles Pettigrew among them. He remained continues to decline. 
bishop-elect until his death, and, as Dr. Lemmon observed, on his demise 
"the first effort to organize the diocese was effectually dead" too. 

During this period the church building of St. Paul's had also 
deteriorated. As one writer later observed, "The old Episcopal church 
had long been in a ruinous condition, its walls well nigh tumbling to 
the ground, the floors torn up and the sacred stand not having been 
occupied by a Minister of the Gospel for years." 



The ChuYch in Decline 

1806 • Repairs and The Episcopalians in Edenton were moved to give personal funds 
improvements are for the repair of St. Paul's and to secure a minister. In 1806, the parish 
carried out at employed carpenter-architect, William Nichols, a native of Bath, 
St. Pawl's. England, who had arrived in New Bern in 1800, to restore and remodel 
St. Paul's. He later served as superintendent of construction for James 
Cathcart Johnston at Hayes. He is remembered as a talented and 
ambitious architect and builder "with an eye for fashion, opportunity, 
and economy." 

His second wife was Sarah Simons from Chowan County, and 
with her he remained in St. Paul's parish for a number of years. 
During that time he worked on various building projects in the area, 
including the East Custom House on Court Street in Edenton, and 
possibly also Beverly Hall on West King Street. 

Nichols repaired the interior of St. Paul's and added the spire, with 
four decorative urns at the corners of the bell tower. The exterior 
remained as first planned in the 1730s — a Flemish bond brick building, 
rectangular in plan, with a stout, square entrance tower on the west 
and an elliptical apse which defines the chancel at the east end. St. 
Paul's was originally, and remains today, akin in form, function, and 
workmanship to its predecessors and contemporaries in England and 
Virginia. The renovation of St. Paul's in 1806-7 was a bright event that 
occurred in a generally dark time. 



In late 1 8 1 1 , four years after "Parson" Pettigrew's death, the Edenton 
Academy engaged the services of Frederick W. Hatch, a clergyman from 
Maryland. He taught for a year, then served St. Paul's Church until 
1815, when he returned to Frederick Town in Maryland. Committed to 
his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Hatch served more as chaplain than 
rector to the few churchmen in Edenton at the time. 


The Establishment of the Episcopal Church 

CM k 

This drawing of St. 
Paul's from Harpers 
Weekly, 1862, 
shows the sfire and 
urns added by 
William Nichols in 




The Establishment of the Episcopal Church 

In May, 1817, only three men served as clergymen in all of North 
Carolina: the Reverend Adam Empie, from Long Island, New York, 
was rector of St. James's, Wilmington ; the Reverend Bethel Judd, from 
the Diocese of Connecticut, also rector of St. James's and later of 
St. John's in Fayetteville; and the Reverend Jehu Curtis Clay, from 
Pennsylvania, rector of Christ Church, New Bern. The efforts of these 
men and their supporters led to the rise of the Episcopal Church in 
North Carolina. 

On April 24, 1817, nine men met in convention at Christ Church, 
New Bern to form the Protestant Episcopal Church in North Carolina. 
The meeting was attended by three clergymen and six lay delegates 
from four parishes, including Josiah Collins of Edenton. The historian 
Dr. Lemmon has described the proceedings: 

"They prepared a constitution for the Church in North Carolina, 
acceding to the constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the United States and acknowledging its authority. All present signed 
the document and sent it to the General Convention with a request 
for recognition and the right to send representatives to that body. 
This constitution provided for the simplest of diocesan organizations. 
There was to be an annual Convention composed of the clergymen 
'regularly settled' in the state and at least one lay delegate from each 
congregation... Each year the Convention was to name a three-to- 
seven-man Standing Committee with power to admit candidates for 
the ministry, and, pending the election of a bishop, 'to examine the 
testimonials of foreign clergymen, to call special meetings of the 
Convention, and to transact all such other business as they are 
empowered to do by the Constitution and Canons of the General 

John B. Blount of Edenton was among the members of the Standing 

At the time of the first Diocesan Convention, although not as a part 
of its official business, a Missionary Society was formed to secure 
funds for the employment of clergymen; and it was voted that the 

1817 • The first 
Diocesan Convention 
takes place. 



The Establishment of the Episcopal Church 

Right Reverend Richard Charming Moore, rector of Monumental 

Church in Richmond and bishop of Virginia since 1814, be asked "to 

visit and perform the Episcopal offices in this State." On May 20, 1817, 

less than a month later, the Diocese of North Carolina was formed. The May 20, 1817 ■ 

following day the General Convention of the American Church The Diocese of North 

met in Trinity Church, New York, and passed a resolution Carolina is formed. 

recognizing the Church in North Carolina as a "member of this 


Richard Channing Moore was a popular clergyman, admired 
and respected for his beliefs and his considerable contributions to the 
new Diocese of North Carolina. He considered the episcopacy to be 
"divinely instituted and necessary for the perfection of the church," 
regarded the Sacraments as "the means of grace rather than signs of 
grace already bestowed," and believed that regular services of the 
Church should be conducted in strict conformity with the rubrics. On 
April 17, 1819, en route to Wilmington to preside over the 1819 
Convention, he stopped in Fayetteville and confirmed forty -eight people, 
the first recorded confirmations in North Carolina. 



In 1823 John Stark Ravenscroft was elected the first bishop of 
the new Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. 

Born in 1772 at Blandford in Prince George County, Virginia, 
young Ravenscroft was sent to classical schools in Scotland and 
Northumberland and returned to Virginia at the age of sixteen to 
study law at the College of William and Mary. After his marriage to 
Anne Spots wood Burwell in 1792, he bought a plantation in Lunenburg 
County and for eighteen years lived the life of a slave-holding planter. 
"Few were more conspicuous than he on the race-course, at the card- 
table, or around the cock-pit." 

At the age of thirty-eight he began to read the Bible and joined the 
Republican Methodists. He became a lay elder and read sermons to 


The First Bishop 

1823 • John Stark congregations on vacant Sundays. He paused briefly to consider 
Ravenscroft is elected affiliation with the Presbyterians, but finally settled on the Episcopal 
and consecrated as the Church. Made deacon at Monumental Church in Richmond in 1817, he 
first hishof of the was later ordained priest in St. George's Church, Fredericksburg. After 
new diocese, the death of his first wife, he married Sarah Buford of Lunenburg 
County and settled with her near Boydtown, Virginia, on a plantation 
he named "Makeshift." He became rector of St. James's, Mecklenburg 
County, where he remained until he was elected bishop. 

It has been noted that Mr. Ravenscroft "preached a strict, unbending 
doctrine." After his consecration as bishop in Philadelphia on May 22, 
1823, he was invited by the vestry of Christ Church, Raleigh, to serve 
as part-time rector there, to supplement his meager salary of $750 per 
year. At approximately the same time, both the University of North 
Carolina and Columbia College in New York conferred upon him the 
honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. 

He began his visitations to the Episcopal congregations of the state 
in 1824, and was exceedingly well received, as the words of Thomas 
Ruffin, a Hillsborough attorney, attest: 

"If he be not a pure & humble Christian, his life & feeling must 
be greatly at variance with his precepts. I think I never heard our 
Religion preached in greater Gospel Purity. There was no new- 
fangled notion, no metaphysical subtlety, no effort to draw off the 
attention of the hearers from devotion to the Deity & make the 
Preacher the object to be considered." 

Growth and Renewal of the Diocese 

Although he was not directly affliliated with St. Paul's, Bishop Ravens- 
croft's influence in directing the course of the Episcopal Church in 
North Carolina cannot be overlooked, and the growth and renewal 
that came to St. Paul's shortly after his seven years of service may be 
understood in the context of his beliefs and actions. His mission was, 
in his own words, "to promote the Anglican cause" in North Carolina, 
and to do so by uniting in mind and spirit the Episcopalians of the 



The First Bishop 



The FiYst Bishop 

1824 ■ Bishop 
Ravenscroft sets forth 
a plan for reviving 
the diocese. 

Bishop Ravenscroft wasted no time in starting his efforts to set 
a new tone for the diocese. His philosophy was epitomized in his 
sermon in Williamsboro, on the first day of the 1824 Convention. As 
Dr. Lemmon reports, "After tracing the Catholic and Apostolic character 
of the church, identifying the Episcopal Church in North Carolina as a 
'branch of the true vine,' the bishop laid down a five-point plan for 

(i) "Holiness... in ourselves and in our families" — to counteract the 
general opinion that Episcopalians were lax in piety; 

(ii) "Observance and cultivation of family religion" — as an antidote 
to the neglect of the instruction of children and servants; 

(iii) Reserving "pecuniary means ... for the wants of our own 
communion" rather than contributing to others out of misdirected 
"equal regard for all denominations"; 

(iv) "Steadfast and uniform adherence to the liturgy and office of 
the Church, as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer"; 

(v) Preaching and instructing in the "doctrines of the cross" and 
"other points of edification . . . particularly that of the distinctive 
character of the Church." 

Six hundred copies of his remarks delivered in Williamsboro were 
printed, more than sufficient to provide one to every church family 
in the state. The bishop's focus on a return to family worship and 
education, his adherence to the Prayer Book, and his statements 
that the Episcopal Church was an institution clearly distinct in belief 
and practice from other denominations and deserving of members' 
exclusive support had a profound effect. 

Bishop Ravenscroft thereafter devoted his energies to the support 
of his five-point plan. He sought to add clergymen ("my boys" as he 
called them) to the diocese, and to replace those who had died or left 
the ministry as a result of their disagreements with his administration. 
He endorsed the General Seminary of New York as the institution 
most appropriate for their education. He insisted upon ordination of 



The First Bishop 

clergy and confirmation of church members. He objected to the newly 
formed Bible Society's determination to distribute Bibles "without note 
or comment," and advocated instead, "... with the word of God, send 
them the Church and its ministers, and the sacraments of God." 

Determined to bolster the unique character of the Episcopal Church Bishof Ravenscroft 
and adherence to its doctrines, and to bring former Anglicans back emphasizes the unique 
from Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran character of the 
affiliations, he was convinced that the tacit admission of the validity of Episcopal Church. 
all denominations and sects "weakens [Episcopalians] as a body, 
strengthens the ranks of our adversaries, and . . . weakens the cause of 
true religion." Bishop Ravenscroft considered Moravians alone among 
Protestant denominations a body of Christian confessors, episcopally 
derived and constituted. 

In his third year as bishop, John Stark Ravenscroft was faced with 
the challenge of visiting in a period of only twenty-six weeks, twenty- 
four congregations scattered throughout an area 350 miles long east to 
west, and 220 miles wide north to south. This requirement, coupled 
with an increasing burden of correspondence, deprived him of the 
opportunity to make personal acquaintance of his flock, a matter he 
considered essential. At that time he gained the help of Francis Lister 
Hawks, who assisted him in his travels. But in 1826 Bishop Ravens- 
croft told the Convention that he could no longer serve in the dual 
roles of rector and bishop, and asked to be relieved of his duties at 
Christ Church. 

In 1828, in failing health, his personal estate exhausted, Bishop 
Ravenscroft accepted a call from St. John's, Williamsboro, to become 
rector there, believing a smaller parish to be more manageable. In 
1829, following the death of his wife a few months earlier, his salary 
was increased to $1,000 per annum, thus allowing him to relinquish 
his duties in Williamsboro. Further subscriptions were sought to support 
the bishop. In that same year, however, Bishop Ravenscroft wrote that 
"nothing really efficient" could be done. "Before the whole of the new 
subscription will be available, the probability is very strong that I shall 
be removed from you. Every year has given its warning to my decaying 
body — and this last, the loudest." 


The First Bishop 

Bishop Ravenscroft's 
life and teachings 
establish important 
principles for the 
Episcopal Church. 

He died on March 5, 1830, at the age of 58, and was buried beneath 
the chancel of Christ Church in Raleigh. On December 5, 2000, during 
an extensive renovation of Christ Church, a burial vault was 
discovered and confirmed to be his. Granite blocks had been laid on 
top of the crypt, with rough-hewn sides turned upward, smooth sides 
down. This "upside-down" installation may indicate that the crypt 
was repositioned at some point — although still within the chancel 
area — perhaps to protect it during a fire. The form of the body, 
wrapped in a shroud and facing east, was visible only from the torso 
down. There were few obvious traces of wood, suggesting that no coffin 
was used, yet there is evidence indicating the use of ropes to lower a 
coffin into the tomb. 

Bishop Ravenscroft, said to stand six feet tall, with "a deep voice 
and a stern, sometimes harsh, demeanor," was a remarkable man who 
left a considerable legacy. Perhaps most significant among his many 
accomplishments on behalf of the Church was his success in helping 
North Carolina Episcopalians overcome an important psychological 
hurdle: in the words of historian Dr. Lemmon, "the realization that the 
Diocese, rather than the parish, was the vital unit in Church organization, 
that the bishop was chief pastor of the flock, and that the Convention 
had authority to legislate for the Church throughout the Diocese." In 
addition, many of those who were attracted to the priesthood by 
Bishop Ravenscroft' s loyalty to Christian principles and the distinctive 
doctrines of the Church became bishops in their own right — in 
Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, the Southwest, 
and "the Indian Territory." 

In securing a full-time episcopate for North Carolina, Bishop 
Ravenscroft had accomplished his mission, at great personal cost. 


Meanwhile, St. Paul's had secured a new minister, John Avery 
of Conway, Massachusetts. Mr. Avery had attended Williams College, 



The Reverend ]ohn Avery 


where he roomed with William I j ]ohn Avery, Rector of 

Cullen Bryant, later to become a St. Paul's, 1818-35 

poet and journalist of note. Avery 
was graduated from Yale in 1813 
and took charge of the Edenton 
Academy a year later. Although 
bred a Congregationalism he was 
attracted to the Episcopal Church 
and was ordained a deacon by 
Bishop Kemp of Maryland in 
October, 1817. He was among 
those in attendance at the 
Convention in New Bern in April 
of that year, and shortly there- 
after assumed duties at St. Paul's 
in addition to his work at the 

In 1833 the University of North Carolina conferred upon him the 
honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. He served St. Paul's until 1835, 
when he moved with his family to Greensboro, Alabama, to serve as 
rector of St. Paul's and St. John's in the Prairies. 

In January, 1837, aboard the steamer Medora, Dr. Avery died 
suddenly while returning to Greensboro from a trip to "lay in winter 
stores." His wife, the former Nancy Paine of Edenton, received the 
news of his death in a letter from the clerk of the Medora: 

"I scarcely know in what manner to communicate to you the 
melancholy intelligence of the sudden and great loss you have 
sustained in the decease of your much respected and generally 
beloved husband, the Rev'd. John Avery, who retired to his bed 
at an early hour on the night of the 17th in apparently as good 
health as when he left Mobile, and was found in the morning 
to have relinquished his claims on earth for the sure anticipations 
of a bright and glorious reward in heaven." 



The Reverend ]ohn Avery 

He was buried in Greensboro, Alabama. The grave of his infant son 
can be found in Edenton in St. Paul's churchyard. 

John Avery is remembered as a quiet and humble man. In a letter 
to her husband, Ebenezer, in 1826, Ann Blount Pettigrew questioned 
Dr. Avery's ability to handle his congregation in Edenton, which she 
referred to as "a sink of vice." It was her view that he had "too much 
milk & water composition to reform the profligate — they ought to 
have the eloquence of a Demosthenes & the sword of the Turk to 
reform them." 

Dr. Avery was succeeded in 1836 by the Reverend William D. 
Cairns, who stayed at St. Paul's for only a year before being appointed 
rector of Trinity Church in Columbus, Georgia, where he remained 
until 1850. 


The Exterior of During the ministries ofDr. Avery and Mr. Cairns, the exterior of 
the Church the church of St. Paul's was much the same as it appears today: 
a rectangular building constructed of brick. No cross adorned the steeple, 
however, until the late nineteenth century. St. Paul's had a bell in the 
belfry at that time (no documents can be found to record its origin or 
the exact date of its installation). Blinds flanked the windows on the 
outside as a protection against storms and summer heat; the black iron 
"shutter dogs" that secured the blinds against the brick walls can still 
be seen today. 

Interior Layout Inside St. Paul's, as at present, three galleries flanked the north, 
south, and west walls. There is no indication until some time after 1837 
that these were "slave galleries," reserved for the black servants of 
local planters. An organ, installed by 1826, was situated in the west 
gallery, where the present organ pipes are located. As today, the central 
aisle, narrowed during the 1806-7 improvements made by William 
Nichols, ran from the tower to the chancel, and two narrow aisles 
flanked the far sides of the pews. The Ten Commandments, the Lord's 



St. Paul's in the 19th Century 

Prayer, and the Apostles' Creed were set at the east end of the church 
(the chancel wall) "where the people may best see and read the same." 
But other things inside the church were quite different. 

During the period from 1817 to 1837 large "double" or "square" Seating 
pews were arranged along each side of a central aisle. Members of the 
congregation sat around the sides of the pews. Only the individuals 
seated on the west side of the "box" faced the chancel. Like nearly all 
churches of the period, St. Paul's had a policy of renting pews to produce 
revenue for general maintenance. The practice was initiated by the 
vestry in 1812 and remained in effect until shortly after the War 
between the States. Benches were probably stacked at the back, inside 
the church, and set in the middle of the central aisle as needed, to seat 
"strangers" and those without regular seats. There would have been 
room to pass at each side. The floor of the church was all on one level. 
The apse floor at that time was not elevated and therefore required no 
steps for access. 

The communion table (a simple table, unlike the present altar) was The Eucharist 
set behind the chancel railing, with its end, rather than a side, placed 
just below the apse window. Its placement at a perpendicular angle 
within the chancel (i.e., in direct alignment with the central aisle) may 
be attributed to the influence of the Puritans in England. When, in the 
mid-seventeenth century, the government of Oliver Cromwell estab- 
lished the Commonwealth — an administration most influenced by the 
Protestants of western Europe — a common effort in Anglican churches 
was to eliminate church furnishings considered to be vestiges of 
Roman Catholicism. Altars were therefore replaced with simple tables 
set with narrow ends facing east and west, to remove the priest from 
his position as the focal point of the church, and also, possibly, to 
accommodate a greater number of communicants in a small space. 

Communicants knelt on the south side of the table, in some cases 
in a semi-circle, facing the rector, who stood on the north side to 
preside at the communion service. It is for this reason that 
rectors, including Clement Hall at St. Paul's, are buried beneath the 
north side of the chancels in the churches where they served. 



St. Pawl's in the igth Century 

Instruction The pulpit and reading desk stood at the head of the aisle on its 
right side. The reading desk was built on the front of the pulpit platform, 
so that the pulpit stood above the reading desk. Whether the pulpit 
had a canopy or "sounding board" to project the rector's voice is 

In 1828, to ensure that the congregation might see more clearly 
services that took place at the altar, the vestry of St. Paul's "ordered 
that the Chancel of the Church be so enlarged & the Pulpit & Reading 
desk be so moved back, that the railing of the Chancel may be in front 
of the Reading Desk." No record remains to indicate that construction 
was ever commenced. 

According to one writer of the time, "Whoever is acquainted with 
the size and structure of the old chancels of most of the Churches will 
readily believe from their very contracted dimensions, that but few 
were expected to kneel at them." In some Episcopal churches of North 
Carolina at the time, the offerings were neither "presented" nor 
"received," but merely placed on the floor at the front of the main aisle 
and removed after the service. 
Baptism Records of the time offer little help in determining the type and 
location of the baptismal font at St. Paul's in the early nineteenth cen- 
tury. Early North Carolina churches had no fixed tradition with 
respect to fonts, and contemporary descriptions rarely mention them. 
Dr. Lemmon observes, "In all likelihood, basins were more common 
than fixed fonts, and baptisms were probably performed in the chan- 
cel rather than near the church door." By 1820 administration of Holy 
Baptism in private homes had begun to be discouraged. Immersion 
was practiced when that mode of baptism was preferred; on at least one 
occasion, in fact, Bishop Ravenscroft baptized an adult in Edenton Bay. 

Decoration and ornamentation of the church were of the simplest 
The Communion sort. The communion table of the typical North Carolina church of the 
Table period, if covered at all, had "a carpet of altar cloth, which normally 
went over all four sides, either fitting closely, or falling in folds at the 
corners... The most popular color was crimson." 

With the exception of Communion services, the altar was 



St. Paul's in the igth Century 

unadorned. Candles were never placed on the communion table, Altar Decoration 

except for lighting at night; nor was there a cross. When the Eucharist 

was to be celebrated (once each quarter and whenever possible on 

Christmas, Easter, and Whitsunday), the altar was covered with a fair 

linen cloth and set with the paten, chalice, flagon, and alms basin. The 

bread, baked by a member of the congregation, was placed on the 

paten, and the wine, made by a parishioner from grapes of his own 

vineyard, was poured into the chalice. The communion vessels were 

then covered by a napkin in preparation for the commencement of the 

service. At one end of the altar was a cushion with a service book and 


The kneelers at St. Paul's were covered in red carpet, scraps left Kneelers 
over from parlor rugs, all different in shade and pattern. These kneelers 
remained in use at St. Paul's until 1949. 

Candles were used for lighting the church, although in the winter Lighting 
months Evening Prayer was typically held in the afternoon and therefore 
required no illumination. In 1832 the vestrymen of St. Paul's passed a 
resolution of thanks to Miss Penelope J. D. Skinner for the gift, in 
memory of her mother, of a chandelier and a lamp for the pulpit reading 
desk. In 1833 it was resolved that the spare sconces belonging to the 
church (believed to be seven pairs of single lamps and two pairs of 
double ones) be presented to Christ Church, Elizabeth City. These had 
been attached to the columns, as lamps still are today. 

Flowers were not placed St. Paul's, nor in any Episcopal church in 
North Carolina, until after the War between the States. 

Choirs and "singers" of the period wore no vestments, and the Vestments 
vestments of the clergy were different from those now familiar to us. 
Stoles and cassocks were unknown. The officiating minister wore a 
black preaching gown and white bands known as "Geneva bands" (as 
the portrait of Charles Pettigrew on page 45 shows). The clergymen of 
St. Paul's were held strictly accountable for any failure to wear the 
usual vestments when conducting services. 

The 1789 edition of the Book of Common Prayer was in use when the Texts 
Church was organized in North Carolina. The rubrics indicated that 



St. Pawl's in the 19th Century 

the usual Sunday morning service was to be full morning prayer 
followed by the litany and ante-communion without interruption. The 
selection of psalms and lessons stipulated in the prayer book was 
mandatory. The sermon could be based on any text the preacher chose. 
Music Music of the quality and variety found in the Episcopal church 
today was unknown in the first decades of the life of the diocese. 
Twenty-seven hymns (without tunes) had been adopted by the 
General Convention of 1789. To these thirty more hymns had been 
added in 1808, and by 1826 the number of hymns had increased to 212. 
(Today the hymnal contains 288 chants and 720 hymns.) 
The Organ In 1820 a committee of church women made efforts to raise money 
to buy an organ for St. Paul's by canvassing individual members of the 
congregation. According to legend, their request prompted a childless 
member, Joseph B. Skinner, to make a promise: "Ladies, pray that I 
may have a son and heir; if our prayers are answered, I will give the 
organ." His wish was granted, a son was born, and the church 
received the organ. The students of Edenton Academy had a half-day 
holiday on the day the organ arrived in Edenton. With crowds of 
onlookers they hurried to the wharf, and were disappointed to see 
only boxes and packing cases and not the organ on deck, playing a 
tune, as they had imagined. The installation of the organ in the church 
was cause for great celebration. 



The untimely death of Bishop Ravenscroft on March 5, 1830, 
caused genuine sorrow throughout the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
this country and was a deep loss to the Diocese of North Carolina. In 
his place, at a Special Convention held in 1831 at Christ Church, 
1831 • Levi Silliman Raleigh, clergymen nominated the Reverend Levi Silliman Ives as 
Ives is appointed Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. Mr. Ives, aged thirty-one at 
bishop, the time, accepted the position just five days later, on May 26, 1831. 



A Controversial Bishop 


A Controversial Bishop 

December i, 1839 ■ St. 
Paul's is consecrated. 

Bishop Ives's High 
Church leanings cause 
growing concern. 

Thus began his controversial ministry, which ended twenty-one years 
later in his defection from the Episcopal Church and his conversion to 
Roman Catholicism. 

Born in Connecticut in 1797, and reared and trained as a 
Presbyterian, Mr. Ives became a convert to the Episcopal Church in 
1819 and entered the General Theological Seminary. There he studied 
under Bishop Hobart of New York, the recognized leader of High 
Churchmanship in America. Mr. Ives later married Bishop Hobart's 

In 1832 the Diocese of North Carolina was one of the conservative 
High Church dioceses of the time, and in the early years of his episcopate 
Mr. Ives had the support of the General Convention. He successfully 
increased the number of parishes and clergy in the state, promoted 
Christian education by championing the effort to establish diocesan 
schools, and baptized and held services for blacks — in the Edenton 
area at Pettigew Chapel (now St. David's Church near Creswell), and 
at the Collins plantation near Lake Phelps (then known as Lake 
Scuppernong). Although his ministry appears to have been focused 
primarily in the piedmont and western regions of the state, his visits 
to the Albemarle were noted from time to time. Mr. Ives consecrated 
St. Paul's on December 1, 1839, and in August, 1850, he consecrated All 
Saints Chapel (in what is now the parish of St. Andrew's) at Nags 

In time, however, the bishop's insistence on reintroducing practices, 
rituals, and theological ideas that were generally considered to be 
controversial brought him under the bitter disapproval of leaders of 
the diocese. Of great concern were his support of confession, his 
endorsement of the "mission station" at Valle Crucis (thought to be an 
attempt to establish a monastic order) and his resistance to "the right 
of a convention to affirm what a diocese holds, or what the clergy may 
or may not teach." 

In 1848, suffering from a dangerous fever, Mr. Ives was confined to 
his bed for nearly two months in the home of Josiah Collins, Jr., an 
Edenton businessman and owner of considerable property, who had a 



A Controversial Bishop 

great interest in the education and confirmation of slaves. Attempts 
were subsequently made at the Collins residence to prove that Mr. 
Ives's illness had affected his mind, a conclusion that Mr. Collins later 

Despite his efforts to clear himself of charges that his policies tended 1852 Bishop Ives 
to blur important distinctions between Anglicanism and Roman converts to Roman 
Catholicism, Bishop Ives resigned his episcopate in August, 1852, Catholicism. 
during a trip to Rome, where he became a Roman Catholic. 

The news soon reached Edenton. On January 1, 1853, James Cathcart 
Johnston of Hayes wrote to James Johnston Pettigrew: 

"I presume you have heard the report of the Bishop going over 
to the Romish church. Our little clergyman Parkman announced 
it in church fr[om] the desk (there is no pulpit now in church) 
on Christmas day and then read the funeral service over him 
as dead. . . [Mr. Ives] may perhaps go into a monastery. He 
might as well for he will never be of any use to the Diocese. 
No person here [has] any confidence in him or his preaching." 

On his return to the United States, Mr. Ives served as a leading 
layman in the organization and support of various Roman Catholic 
charitable institutions. He died in 1867, at age seventy. In the words of 
an anonymous writer, "His was a strange and eventful life, devoted 
throughout to the service of God and humanity, yet torn by varying 
and conflicting doctrinal beliefs." 



Meanwhile, at St. Paul's the parish had welcomed a new rector, 
the Reverend Samuel Iredell Johnston. Born in Windsor on December 
28, 1806, the son of John Seymour Johnston and his wife Elizabeth 
Cotten, the year-old Samuel and his sister were sent after their father's 
death to live with their maternal grandparents on their plantation, 
Mulberry Grove, in Hertford County. 


The Reverend Samuel Iredell Johnston 

His grandparents were devout 
Baptists, but Samuel was intro- 
duced to the Episcopal Church 
during frequent visits with his 
father's brother, Governor Samuel 
Johnston, at his plantation, The 
Hermitage, on the Roanoke River, 
and with other members of the 
family in Edenton. 

Young Samuel graduated 
from the University of North 
Carolina in 1826 and moved to 
Northampton County, where he 
practiced law for a brief period in 

Jackson. His interest in the 

I Episcopal Church grew, and 

in 1832 he was admitted as a candidate for Holy Orders. Two years 
later he was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Ives. 

1837 • Samuel Iredell After serving at Calvary Church in Wadesboro for three years, in 
Johnstonheqinshis 1837 Mr. Johnston was named rector of St. Paul's, Edenton. It was the 

ministry at St. Paul's, beginning of a remarkable ministry that lasted until his death, twenty- 
eight years later. A thorough assessment of Samuel Johnston's ministry 
is limited by the lack of vestry minutes during his tenure at St. Paul's: 
records of the years between July 23, 1841, and April 23, 1848, are missing 
(the reason for their absence is unknown); nor do vestry minutes exist 
from 1861 through 1865, the years of the War between the States. 

A lawyer by training, Samuel Johnston appears to have been a 
man of great ambition and determination, and while rector of St. 
Paul's he became widely respected throughout the diocese. He was 
asked several times to preach at the diocesan convention, he represented 
North Carolina in the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, 
and he served on the important diocesan Standing Committee and on 
boards responsible for establishing a diocesan library and revising 
canon law. He was one of four clerical representatives selected in 1850 


The Reverend Samuel Iredell Johnston 

to investigate Bishop Ives's theological views. From 1858 he was 
usually referred to as "Dr." Johnston, though it has been impossible to 
discover the institution that may have conferred on him the honorary 
degree of Doctor of Divinity. 

During his ministry at St. Paul's, Mr. Johnston baptized 1,085 
individuals and presented 352 for confirmation. Among his most 
significant accomplishments was the introduction of daily services at 
St. Paul's. In addition, it appears that he made efforts to establish a 
parish school. 

Known for his work with slaves on local plantations, he encouraged 
their attendance at St. Paul's. In 1840 the vestry considered a proposal 
to erect a flight of stairs in the southwest corner of the church, leading 
to the south gallery, to be allotted for use by black members; and in 
1841 they adopted resolutions to allow them the use of the north 
gallery and considered the matter of a subscription to raise funds to 
erect a church for them. 

Mr. Johnston may be described as one who was either respected 
and beloved, or respected and feared. In the mid nineteenth century 
Dr. Edward Warren, a member of the congregation at St. Paul's, 
described him thus: 

Daily services are 
introduced at St. 

Black members are 
encouraged to join 
St. Pauls. 

"He was in all respects a model pastor, illustrating alike by precept 
and example the truth, beauty and excellence of the faith which 
he professed, devoting himself with unfaltering fidelity to the welfare 
of his flock and leading a life of perfect holiness and sanctity." 

By contrast, the minutes (1851) of the Albemarle Convocation, an 
association of parish priests of the diocese, record his reaction to their 
offer to help him establish a parochial school in Edenton: 

"They were informed by the venerable & profound Rector of St. 
Paul's, that he was fully able & resolved to conduct his own affairs 
& that neither the Convocation nor their committee were needed 
nor wanted to aid with their advice on anything else, & that 
therefore they need not trouble themselves any more about his 


The Reveyend Samuel Iredell ]ohnston 

The congregation 

April 22, 1849 ' The 
first ordination takes 
place at St. Paul's. 

1851 ■ The first 
history of the parish 
is written. 

business or his parish. After the receipt of this sentence, pronounced 
with the accustomed & known firmness, & decision, & promptness 
of the Rector, the committee remained silent, fearing lest any 
further remarks on the subject might endanger the safety of at least 
the President of the Convocation." 

Under Mr. Johnston's care the congregation of St. Paul's grew, 
despite periods when Mr. Johnston was too ill to serve the needs of his 
congregation — often for months and, later, years at a time. For thirteen 
years, partly because of his ill health, Mr. Johnston needed an assistant 
to help serve an increasing flock of communicants. Three priests 
served with him during those years: the Reverend Charles Maison 
(1847-50), the Reverend Charles McDonough Parkman (1851-4), and 
the Reverend Francis Hilliard (1857-9). 

Little is recorded about Charles Maison. It is known that he was 
ordained deacon by Bishop Ives on October 17, 1847, at St. Luke's in 
New York, and that he was ordained priest by Bishop Ives at St. Paul's 
in Edenton on April 22, 1849, the first priest ever ordained in the 
church. In 1852 Mr. Maison is recorded as rector of St. Thomas's 
Church in Windsor, North Carolina, where he served for five years. 
For the next twenty years he appears to have been in the Philadelphia 

Charles McDonough Parkman was ordained to the diaconate at St. 
Paul's on St. Mark's Day, April 25, 1851, in the second ordination to 
take place at St. Paul's. He is distinguished as one who did more than 
any other individual to preserve and present the history of St. Paul's 
parish at that time. Mr. Parkman wrote the first history of the parish, 
which he delivered in 1851 as part of a sermon celebrating 150 years of 
the parish and the work of the SPG. At the 200th anniversary of the 
parish in 1901, as principal speaker, he reviewed the history that he 
had compiled some fifty years earlier. The first twenty-five years of the 
oldest remaining register of the parish — beginning with the organization 
of the diocese in 1826 — are in his writing, copied from the register 
(later lost) which went back to the beginning of the parish. 


The Reverend Samuel Iredell ]ohnston 

Mr. Parkman presented to the 
church two silver vases still used 
for flowers on the altar. One is 
engraved with a dedication in 
Latin in memory of St. Mark, a 
reference to the feast day on which 
Mr. Parkman's ordination took 

After leaving St. Paul's, he 
served briefly at Christ Church in 
Elizabeth City, then in Maryland, 
and ultimately in Red Bank, New 
Jersey in 1875. 

The third of Samuel Johnston's 
assistants, the Reverend Francis 
Hilliard, married Mr. Johnston's 
eldest daughter, and later returned to serve the parish as rector after 
his father-in-law's death. 

Charles McDonouqh 
Yarkman, Assistant 
Rector, in 1852 



In 1860, to accommodate the expanding congregation, the vestry 
began to give serious consideration to enlarging the church by adding 
transepts on each side, thus making it cruciform in shape, or to 
constructing a new church building. 

Meanwhile, some notable alterations and additions were made. 
During Mr. Johnston's tenure, the Rector's Study was built on the 
western boundary of the churchyard. A one-room structure, believed 
to have been erected in the 1850s, it is first mentioned as "the office" 
in the vestry minutes of December, 1870. In that year the "office" porch 
was removed; otherwise the little building retains its original appear- 
ance today. Significant changes were also made to the chancel of the 

The Rector's Study is 
built within the church 



Improvements to the Chuych Building 

As the architectural historian Thomas Butchko reports, "In 1848, 
oak reredos, arched altar rail, and chancel furniture (altar, sanctuary 
chair, bishop's chair, litany desk, and chancel stall) were installed, 
following designs by Frank Wills, an Englishman working in New 
York as the official architect of the New York Ecclesiological Society." 
Recognizing that Gothic Revival elements, popular at the time, would 
be discordant with the classical design of the interior of St. Paul's 
as established by William Nichols in the early years of the nineteenth 
century, in his designs for the chancel Wills chose to follow the rounded 
arch and ceiling of the apse, rather than to introduce a pointed Gothic 

In his report of 1857 to the diocese, Mr. Johnston noted that his 
church had been "greatly adorned and beautified by the addition of a 
chancel window" executed by Owen Doremus of New Jersey. The 
window had been exhibited in New York and declared to be "the finest 
specimen of its size of window-staining ever executed in this country." 


Improvements to the Church Building 

These improvements to the chancel were contributed by members 1857 The Collins 
of the Collins family of Edenton and Somerset plantation. The inscription family sponsors 
at the base of the stained glass window, obscured by the reredos, improvements to 
reads, "In honor of God and to the memory of Josiah Collins through the chancel. 
whose efforts mainly this church when in ruins was restored. Died 
May 19th, 1819." The reference to the church "when in ruins" refers to 
the early 1800s, when St. Paul's, like so many American churches of 
the Anglican communion, reflected the devastating effects of the 
American Revolution. 



The War between the States marked the end of Mr. Johnston's 
ministry. In February, 1862, he and his family retreated to Chapel Hill 
where his son-in-law, the Reverend Francis Hilliard, was serving as 
rector of the Chapel of the Cross. Poor health prevented Mr. Johnston's 
return to his parish at the end of the war, and he died on August 12, 
1865. His long absence and the disaster of the war paralyzed the 
parish at the very peak of its development. Men of the congregation 
joined the army and the records of the church were left blank. 

In 1862 the church bell of St. Paul's was given to a local artillery 1862 -The "St. Paul" 
battery and sent to the Tredegar Ironworks in Richmond, Virginia, to cannon is forged from 
be cast into cannon for the Confederacy. The "St. Paul" was among the church hell. 
four cannon forged from bells in Edenton and Columbia, North 
Carolina, for use by what came to be known as "the Edenton Bell 
Battery." The cannon were lost during the war, the St. Paul captured at 
the battle of Town Creek at the gates of Orton Plantation near 

An effort to find the St. Paul was launched by volunteers in 1998. 
After two years of research the cannon was discovered at Old Fort 
Niagara in New York. The captured St. Paul had been shipped from 
Wilmington to the federal Watervliet Arsenal on the Hudson River, 
where it remained until the 1930s. Transferred to Old Fort Niagara, the 


The Civil War 

Bishop Atkinsons 
strong leadership 
promotes church unity 
during and after the 
War hetween the 

St. Paul was presented there as an example of the artillery used during 
the French and Indian War. When cannon of the correct period were 
acquired, the St. Paul was placed in storage in a warehouse at the fort, 
where it remained for almost seventy years. In June, 2001 the St. Paul 
was rediscovered and brought back to Edenton. It can be seen today, 
mounted on its new carriage, adjacent to the Barker House at the south 
end of Broad Street, overlooking Edenton Bay. 

Captain William Badham, Jr., the commanding officer of the Eden- 
ton Bell Battery, and his second in command, Lieutenant John 
Meredith Jones, are buried in St. Paul's churchyard, along with at least 
twenty additional members of the Battery. 

Bishop Thomas Atkinson 

During the latter half of Samuel Iredell Johnston's ministry, in 1853, a 
remarkable man, Thomas Atkinson, succeeded Levi Silliman Ives as 
the third bishop of North Carolina. Bishop Atkinson is perhaps best 
known for his tenacity in the defense of his position regarding the 
Episcopal church during the years leading up to the War between the 
States. He believed that it was imperative for the church to remain one 
body in Christ, and that any division of the church into separate 
institutions of the north and south was ultimately wrong. 

Joseph Blount Cheshire, bishop of North Carolina in the early 
twentieth century, captured the spirit of Bishop Atkinson: 

"[He] occupied a somewhat unique position among our Southern 
Bishops in his attitude towards the difficult problems presented 
to the Church, both at the beginning and at the close of the War 
between the States. His position was not always understood, nor 
did his course at the time command universal approval. But it 
was his power of seeing clearly, and of reasoning accurately, 
amid the clouds and clamor of those perilous times, which, more 
than any other single influence, brought the Church in peace and 
unity and unfeigned charity through trials which otherwise might 
have split it into discordant and hostile communions." 


The Civil War 



A Celehration of Faith 

Bishop Cheshire wrote further that Thomas Atkinson, holding to 
his belief that the Church could not be divided to reflect the schism 
between north and south, "dared to seem to stand alone, ... contentedly 
and patiently," feeling sure that "the truth would in the end bring all 
together again in pursuit of their great and holy purpose." 

Thomas Atkinson was born on his father's plantation in 
Dinwiddie County, Virginia, attended Yale College, and graduated 
from Hampden- Sydney in 1825, with top honors in his class. After 
eight years of practicing law in Winchester, Virginia, in 1836 he decided 
to enter the ministry. After ordination he served at Christ Church, 
Norfolk, and upon advancement to the priesthood he served as rector 
for the next sixteen years at St. Paul's, Norfolk, and at churches in 
Lynchburg and Baltimore. 

During this period he was twice elected bishop of Indiana, but 
declined because he disliked abolitionism, and in 1853 he rejected the 
nomination to become bishop of South Carolina because of his dislike 
of slavery. When the call came for him to serve as bishop of North 
Carolina, however, he accepted, and was consecrated at the General 
Convention in New York on October 17, 1853. 

As the Civil War approached, Bishop Atkinson provided enlightened 
and moderate leadership for North Carolina's Episcopalians, promoting 
education and urging the religious instruction of slaves. The school he 
founded for free blacks in Raleigh became St. Augustine's College. 

While he opposed secession of the southern states as much as he 
opposed the division of the church into separate institutions, north 
and south, when secession came he put the Episcopal Church in North 
Carolina in the service of the Confederacy. In 1861, therefore, St. 
Paul's, like all Episcopal churches of the South, became a part of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America. 
Meanwhile, Bishop Atkinson persisted in his call for prayer for all 
Americans and for the restoration of the one church. 
Bishop Atkinson's His moderation succeeded, and by the end of the war Thomas 
achievements earn him Atkinson was one of only two bishops in the South to attend the 
international respect. General Convention in Philadephia in October, 1865, and to participate 



The Civil War 

in plans for the reunification of the church. He was warmly welcomed 
by his northern compatriots. He continued his work after the war and 
traveled extensively in Europe. At Cambridge University in England 
he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. 

After forty-five years of distinguished service, he died in January, 
1881 in Wilmington, a much beloved pastor. His assistant, Theodore 
Benedict Lyman, succeeded him as bishop of North Carolina that same 
year. Dr. Lyman was the last bishop to serve the Diocese of North 
Carolina before the creation of the Diocese of East Carolina, organized 
in New Bern in 1884. 



The Journal of the Diocese of North Carolina notes that between 
1862 and 1864 the Reverend Henry Skinner, apparently an assistant to 
Mr. Johnston, made some parochial reports for St. Paul's, signing them 
as "Rev. H. A. Skinner, Rector." Mr. Skinner, who had 
been ordained deacon by Bishop Atkinson in Plymouth in 1859 and 
ordained priest by the Right Reverend R. C. Moore of Virginia, stated 
that he lived four miles outside of Edenton and consequently could not 
give the church the attention he felt appropriate. He moved to 
Hertford in 1864. 

In 1865 the Reverend Francis Hilliard moved back to Edenton 
with his wife and five children to manage the Edenton Academy. He 
succeeded his father-in-law as rector in April of the following year 
when, at their first meeting after the war, the vestry agreed to call him 
to the position. 

Mr. Hilliard had been ordained deacon in 1855 by Bishop Atkinson 
at Christ Church in Raleigh, and priest at St. David's, Scuppernong 
(now Creswell), in 1857. After his first assignment as Mr. Johnston's 
assistant at St. Paul's, he moved to Plymouth to assume the rectorship 
of Grace Church, remaining there for five years, until his calling to the 
Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill. Once back in Edenton, he and his 

1866 ■ The Reverend 
Frances Hilluwf 
hecomes rector of 
St. Pauls. 



The Aftermath of the War 

family moved in with his mother- 
in-law, Margaret Ann (Burgwin) 
Johnston, Samuel I. Johnston's 
widow, who was then living in 
the Iredell House. 

As rector of St. Paul's in the 
aftermath of the war, Mr. Hilliard 
faced a challenging task. In Dr. 
Johnston's absence, the church 
had been closed for much of the 
time during the war years. 
Money was short. When Mr. 
Hilliard assumed his duties, $250 
was raised for his salary, of which 
he accepted only $200. A commit- 
tee was appointed to raise a sub- 
scription for heating and lighting 
the church. Fourteen kerosene oil 

lamps with globes were installed, six in the central chandelier, four 
above the chancel, and two with reflectors on each side beneath the 

The vestry books and parish register had been lost, as Mr. Hilliard 
reported: "They run back to the early part of the last century, and if not 
recovered, will prove a serious loss, not only to the Parish, but to the 
Church at large. Without a Register, it is difficult to arrive at an exact 
list of Communicants." The register has never been found. 

The rectory was unfit for habitation, and the minister and his family 
endured much illness. In a letter written in 1867 his mother-in-law 
reported, " [Mr. Hilliard' s] family suffered so much last summer from 
sickeness that he would have left for some healthier place, but he has 
become so interested in his work in the parrish and so attached to the 
people that [he] has given up the idea of leaving." 

Indeed, under Mr. Hilliard' s guidance, and with the frequent help 
of his assistant, the Reverend Edward W. Gilliam, the people of St. 



The Aftermath of the War 

Paul's began to return. In his report to the diocese after the war, Mr. St. Paul's Church 
Hilliard wrote, "Most of the members of the congregation, who were begins to recover 
absent during the war, have returned, rejoiced to find the beautiful and after the war. 
venerable Church quite uninjured, and the town, resuming, by 
degrees, its wonted appearance." 

The same sentiment is echoed in an observation by Mr. Hilliard's 
mother-in-law, "Our old Church is one of the few things of the South 
that remain unscathed by the war. Some of the children said that the 
walls looked too hallowed for the rude soldiers even to touch them." 

Mr. Hilliard resigned his position as rector of St. Paul's in 1870, 
owing to "domestic circumstances," probably family illness. He later 
served in various parishes, including Cheyenne, Wyoming (1875); 
Pocomoke City, Maryland (1880); St. Paul's, Monroe, North Carolina 
(1898); and Oxford, North Carolina (1902). In 1910, Bishop Cheshire 
reported to the diocesan convention that the "faithful, earnest, and self- 
sacrificing" Mr. Hilliard had been transferred to the Diocese of 

Continued Efforts Toward Reconstruction 

Frances Hilliard was succeeded by Angelo Ames Benton, who served 
St. Paul's as rector from some time in 1870 until 1874. The records for 
this period are sketchy and little is known about his ministry. 
Contemporary writers typically describe Mr. Benton's experience at St. 
Paul's as "unhappy." His interests appear to have been in research and 
writing rather than in parochial ministry. 

Mr. Benton was born in 1837 on the island of Crete, the son of the 
Reverend George Benton, who was serving at the time as an Episcopal 
missionary in Greece. In 1845 the elder Benton settled in North 
Carolina, doing missionary work at Rockfish near Fayetteville, in 
Cumberland County, until his death in 1862. 

Young Benton received the degrees of B.A. (1856) and M.A. (1860) 
from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He was ordained 
deacon by Bishop Atkinson and assigned to Trinity Church, Scotland 
Neck, North Carolina, to assist Dr. Joseph Blount Cheshire, particularly 


The Aftermath of the War 

Angelo Ames Benton 
Rector of St. Paul's, 


1874-76 ■ St. Paul's 
finds it difficult to 
attract a new rector. 

with the chapel that had been 
established for use by slaves of 
the plantation owners along the 
banks of the Roanoke River. For 
two years after his ordination as 
priest in 1863, Mr. Benton served 
his late father's congregation at 
Rockfish. After five years' service 
as rector of St. Timothy's in 
Wilson, he was called to Edenton 
in 1870, for his short ministry 

By 1883 Mr. Benton had 
secured a position as professor of 
Greek and Latin at the College of 
Delaware. In that year he com- 
piled and published a reference 
book, the Church Encyclopedia, 
which traced the colonial antecedents of the Episcopal Church in 
North Carolina. 

He later went to the University of the South at Sewanee, where he 
became professor of dogmatic theology. In 1888 Trinity College 
awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He returned briefly to 
parish service at two churches in the diocese of Springfield, Illinois. In 
1890 he prepared an edition of the works of Virgil for use in schools. 
He died in September, 1912, in Crafton, Pennsylvania. 

Upon the Reverend A. A. Benton's departure in 1874, the vestry of 
St. Paul's began an immediate effort to secure a new rector, calling 
nine priests in total. Despite their diligence, however, St. Paul's had no 
minister for two years. In March, 1876 the Right Reverend Thomas 
McKinnon, D.D., advised the vestry to call the Reverend William 
Wilberforce Lord to the position, the ninth priest in twenty-four 
months to be called to serve as rector of St. Paul's. 



The Aftermath of the War 

Mr. Lord was born in Madison County, New York, in 1819. Between 
college and seminary he spent four years in the Pacific, apparently 
hoping the sea air would improve his health. In 1848 he took orders as 
a deacon in the Episcopal Church and two years later was ordained 
priest. After holding a few minor posts in the South, including one in 
Baltimore where he served during a deadly epidemic of cholera, in 
1854 he was made rector of Christ Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi. 

When the War between the States broke out, Mr. Lord continued as 
rector of Christ Church and distinguished himself as chaplain of the 
first Mississippi Brigade during the siege of Vicksburg. During the 
siege his possessions were destroyed, including his library, reputed to 
be the largest and most scholarly private collection in the 
"Southwest." Mr. Lord, a prisoner of war, was allowed at the end of 
the war to return to Vicksburg, as a result of General Ulysees S. Grant's 
intervention on his behalf. In 1870 he led some of the remaining members 
of his Christ Church congregation to form a new parish and build a 
new church, the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vicksburg. An 1876 
entry in the diocesan journal refers to him as "D.D.", an honorary title 
long supposed to have been conferred by the University of Alabama 
but recently traced to Auburn Theological Seminary, which is not an 
Episcopal institution. 

On April 19, 1876, Mr. Lord visited Edenton for a meeting with the 
vestry of St. Paul's, who offered him $1,000 per year for his services, to 
which the surplus from pew rents, after contingent expenses, was to 
be added. According to the diocesan records, he did not accept the 
offer of the vestry at once, but by May 8, 1876, he was serving as rector 
of St. Paul's, as the vestry minutes indicate. They further document, on 
June 28, 1876, acceptance of his letter of resignation. Mr. Lord had 
served as rector of St. Paul's for less than two months. 

In the months that followed, the parish was regularly and very 
acceptably served by the lay reader, before the arrival of a priest who 
came to be revered, perhaps more than any other rector of St. Paul's, 
as the true shepherd of his flock. 

1874-76 • A lay 
reader conducts services 
while the search for a 
rector continues. 




Born December 5, 1851, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Robert 
Brent Drane was the only child of Robert Brent Drane (1800-62), and 
his second wife, Catherine Caroline Parker of Halifax, widow of John 
H. Hargrave of Lexington. 

The elder Robert Drane, reared at Wilderness Plantation in St. 
George's County, Maryland, was a graduate of Phillips Academy, 
Andover, Massachusetts, and Harvard College. Ordained priest in 
1827, he served as rector at St. James's Episcopal Church, Wilmington 
from 1836 until his death in 1862. Except for a brief period (1833-44) 
when he assumed the presidency of Shelby College in Kentucky, 
Dr. Drane was one of the most diligent and respected ministers of the 
diocese. He died in a yellow fever epidemic while ministering to the sick. 

After the death of his father, young Robert Brent Drane was reared 
in Tarboro in the homes of his uncles, the Reverend Joseph Blount 
Cheshire (father of the later Bishop Cheshire) and Governor Henry 
Toole Clark. In 1872 he was graduated with a B.A. from St. Stephen's 
College in Annandale, New York, and became a candidate for the 
Episcopal ministry at the General Theological Seminary in New York 

Ordained deacon by Bishop Atkinson on July 1, 1875, he served as 
an assistant at his father's former church in Wilmington. He was 
ordained priest at his uncles' church, Calvary Church in Tarboro, on 
1876 ■'Robert Brent October 28, 1876. Four days later, on November 1, 1876— All Saints' 
Drane begins his long Day — he began his long service as rector of St. Paul's in Edenton. 
and much-respected Mr. Drane was married at St. Paul's on December 4, 1878, to Maria 
service at St. Paul's. Louisa Warren Skinner, daughter of Major Tristrim Lowther Skinner 
and Eliza Harwood Skinner. They had seven children — four sons and 
three daughters. Continuing the family tradition in the ministry, their 
son Frederick Blount, an Episcopal clergyman, was a missionary to 
Alaska and was appointed archdeacon of the Yukon; he later served as 
rector of St. Paul's Church, Monroe, and, on retirement, as minister to 
several mission churches. 


The Reverend Rohert Brent Drane 

Robert Brent Drane, 
Rector of St. Paul's, 


The Reverend Robert Brent Drane 

1879 • A separate 
church for black 
parishioners is built. 

Not long after Robert Brent Drane began his ministry at St. Paul's, the 
first steps were taken to establish a separate church for black members 
of the parish. On November 27, 1879, after Bishop Atkinson approved 
the idea of a church for black members of St. Paul's, the diocesan 
trustees bought a lot at 212 East Church Street for the church. Herbert 
H. Page, a member of St. Paul's, erected at his own expense "a very 
neat and attractive church building" on the site, and the Reverend Mr. 
Drane continued to minister to the congregation. 

On April 6, 1881, members of St. John's asked to be given official status 
as a mission and organized parish, although not self-supporting: 

"To the Rt. Rev'd. Theodore B. Lyman, D.D., Bishop 

of the Diocese of North Carolina. 
"Right Reverend Father in God, 

"We the undersigned residents of Edenton vicinity do hereby 
make application to you that you organize a mission station to 
be known as St. John the Evangelist, for the benefit of ourselves 
and other coloured persons interested in the Church. This movement 
has the approbation of the Rector of St. Paul's Parish, Edenton." 



The Reverend Robert Brent Drane 

The request was signed by thirty-one individuals. Bishop Lyman 
approved the proposal, and the church could therefore be consecrated. 

In 1884 the diocese of East Carolina was split from the Diocese of 
North Carolina, and in the same year, on July 26, the original St. John's 
church building was severely damaged by "a violent wind storm, a 
cyclone." Enough of the framework remained to be used as the skeleton 
of a new structure. The cornerstone of the new church building was 
laid on July 8, 1885. At that time the building was widened on both 
sides and connected by a sacristy to the parish hall. 

On May 22, 1887, Bishop Watson, first bishop of the Diocese of East 
Carolina, consecrated St. John the Evangelist Church. He was assisted 
by former rector the Reverend Francis Hilliard, as well as by the 
Reverend J. M. Hilliard and the Reverend Robert Brent Drane. 

In 1888 J.W. Heritage, as lay reader, began years of service which 
included his ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood, work in 
neighboring towns, and the beginning of a parochial school in 1892. 
The present parish hall, completed in 1902, is believed to be the second 
school building. The school lasted until the late spring of 1931, when 
it was merged with the county school system. 

The oldest possessions of St. John the Evangelist Church are the 
original bell, which is now mounted on the grounds; the marble font, 
which, although damaged by the storm, is still serviceable; the original 
parish register, including some vestry minutes; and the original deed 
for the lot. 

1884 • The Diocese 
of East Carolina is 

1887 ■ St. John the 
Evangelist Church 
is consecrated. 

The Achievements of Robert Brent Drane 

During his ministry of fifty-six years Robert Brent Drane performed 
at St. Paul's the rites for 457 baptisms, 125 marriages, and 307 burials, 
and he presented for confirmation 315 individuals. As well as helping 
to organize the Church of St. John the Evangelist, he ministered to 
missions in Colerain and at Mege post office at Crossroads in 
northern Chowan County. He also served as priest in charge of Grace 
Church, Plymouth and of mission churches in Hyde County. He had a 
part in the erection of a chapel at Nag's Head (now St. Andrew's by 



The Reverend Robert Brent Drane 

St. Paul's Rectory prior 
to 1897, sketched from 
memory, November 1931 
hy Dr. Drane's son 
Brent Skinner Drane 


Of the huildincj Brent 
Drane wrote, "I have 
found no clue to the 
date of its erection, 
thouqh Souther's 
Map ofEdenton, June 
1769, shows huildinas 
whose flan and loca- 
tion strongly suggest 
this Rectory, and the 
Rectors Study, as it 
now stands." 

the Sea), and was instrumental in the restoration of St. Thomas's 
Church at Bath. 

In the mid-1890s he arranged for the replacement of the old gambrel- 
roofed house on Church Street that had served as the rectory by the 
larger rectory that continues in use today. At the same time he had a 
smaller house constructed in back of it, on Gale Street, to be occupied 
by indigent or ill members of the parish. He was further responsible 
for the building of the parish house in 1926. 

Gardening was his passion, and he brought much of his talent to 
the churchyard of St. Paul's. In the late 1870s he planted the double 
row of magnolias that border the walkway on the south side of the 
church with seedlings brought from Calvary Church, Tarboro, where 
his uncle was rector. He brought from England the ivy that covered the 
exterior walls of St. Paul's until 1949. 


In 1888 he had the graves of three colonial governors, Henderson 
Walker, Charles Eden, and Thomas Pollock, and their families, rescued 
from the encroaching waters of the Albemarle Sound and the Chowan 
River and placed in St. Paul's churchyard. In 1911 the endangered 
graves of Joshua Bodley, Stephen Cabarrus, his daughter Henrietta, 
and his wife were also moved to the churchyard from the Old Fish 


The Reverend Rohert Brent Drane 

Hatchery grounds. 

Robert Brent Drane not only served the needs of his own congre- Dr. Drane's interests 
gation in Edenton, but also embraced any effort he believed capable of and influence are 
enhancing the welfare of the people of his local community and of his widespread. 
native state of North Carolina. He was a founder of the Roanoke 
Colony Memorial Association, which he served for a number of years 
as president, and at times was minister at the Roanoke Memorial 
Chapel. A member of the North Carolina Historical Commission, he 
contributed to various periodicals, including the North Carolina Booklet. 
In the Diocese of East Carolina he served as president of the Convention 
and of the Standing Committee, examining chaplain, delegate to the 
provincial Convention (1890-1929), trustee of St. Mary's College, and 
trustee of the University of the South, which awarded him the degree 
of Doctor of Divinity. 

Horticulture, fishing, and boating were Dr. Drane's hobbies. A 
contemporary noted, "So diversified have been his interests that 
sportsmen have found a bond of union with him in his keen pleasure 
in fishing and boating, and in past years his sailing craft was a familiar 
sight on the waters of Edenton Bay." Family members recall times 
when Dr. Drane, expected to be at work in the old Rector's Study, 
could more easily be found building one of his boats. His energies 
were directed toward additional interests, including automobiles. In 
1921 Dr. Drane acquired one of the first cars to appear in Edenton, and 
at the age of seventy he learned how to drive. 

The Bells of Old St. Paul's 

On All Saint's Day, 1926, the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Drane's arrival 
at St. Paul's, the congregation organized special services and a pageant 
celebrating his long and distinguished ministry. So remarkable was the 
occasion that newspaper coverage was extensive, including an article 
in the New York Times, which described the seventy-five-year-old priest 
as "youthful and enthusiastic," his "snow-white hair, . . . white beard 
and mustache" notwithstanding. The Virginian Pilot also reported the 
day's events: 

November 1926 • Dr. 
Drane's long ministry 
is celebrated with 
special services and 
a pageant. 


The Reveyend Rohert Brent Drane 

"Golden Jubilee bells in the ivy-mantled tower of Old St. Paul's 
reached a new and solemnly joyful note today when they tolled 
a benediction for the Rev. Dr. Robert Brent Drane as that beloved 
veteran of the Episcopal Church gazed into the West and saw, 
with the dying sun, come the end of 50 years of service as rector 
of the historic parish, the oldest corporation in the State. 
"Before him in solemn procession had just marched the memories 
of a lifetime. ... The venerable rector watched, almost overwhelmed, 
as the majestic pageantry unfolded itself. He was surrounded by 
nearly 5,000 persons, including two bishops and many of the State's 
clergy, who had come from far and near to do him homage. ..." 

The climax of the celebration was reached late in the afternoon in 
a beautifully staged pageant, The Bells of Old St. Paul's, written for the 
occasion by Theodosia Wales Glenn of Atlanta, Georgia, in which the 
assembled crowds saw the history of the parish unfold before them. 

The Bells of 
OU St. Pauls, 
Episode IV : "The Bell 
of Independence ■ The 
Signing of the Test by 
the Vestry of St. Pawl's, 
June 19, 1776" 


The Reverend Robert Brent Drane 

The devotion Dr. Drane inspired in his congregation is further 
shown by a tribute paid him by a member of St. Paul's, Mrs. Charles 
P. Wales, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of 
the construction of St. Paul's church, May 13, 1936: 

"As a theologian and scholar he ranks high, as churchman he is 
unswerving in his loyalty to the doctrine and articles of the 
faith. . . Combined with these enduring qualities he possesses 
a rare charm which has made itself felt in all of his social contacts 
and which illumines with grace and beauty the common walks 
of life... The predominating traits of his character are fidelity 
to duty and a consecrated and consistent living up to his Christian 
principles. His is the simple, unaffected, genuine life of one who 
walks with God." 

Dr. Drane retired from St. Paul's in 1932, and died six years later, 
on October 31, 1939, the day before the sixty-third anniversary of his 
coming to St. Paul's. The Chowan Herald reported his death: "Although 
not entirely unexpected, the entire town of Edenton and the adjacent 
countryside was inexpressably shocked to learn of the death of North 
Carolina's oldest and best loved prelate, who, for 56 years ministered 
with zealousness and devotion as rector of Old St. Paul's." He is 
buried in the churchyard beside his wife. 

Dr. Drane' s portrait, commissioned by members of St. Paul's, hangs 
above the mantel in the Guild Room of the parish house. A tablet in his 
memory may be seen inside the church. 

1939 • Edenton 
mourns the death of a 
beloved rector. 


On September 15, 1933, Edenton was struck by a terrible hurricane 1933 -The church and 

which left devastation in its wake. A resident of the time wrote sadly 
of the destruction, particularly in the churchyard: 

"The churchyard is absolutely wrecked. That has suffered more 
than any other place. One big oak crashed down on the north side, 

churchward are damaged 
by a hurricane. 


As the ioth Century Continues 

Yost-hurricane tree 
damage to the Rectors 


1948- Preparations 
are made to restore 
the church. 

breaking out two windows. Another fairly demolished Mr. Ashby's 
little study. All the big cedars fell — those beautiful arbor-vitaes — 
everything at the back of the church. ... the magnolias withstood 
the storm. ... The thing that distresses us most is that picturesque 
old Edenton is gone. We will all plant and work, and plan, but the 
quaintness that we've enjoyed can never be restored..." 

x/ _____ 

The Great Fire of 1949 

In 1947 careful examination of the church revealed dangerous 
termite damage, loose plaster, and old wooden shingles in bad condition 
under the later slate roof. The vestry immediately began a search for a 
competent restoration architect, and for other churches which had 
experienced the same problems and could advise them. 

In 1948 detailed architectural studies and drawings of the church 
were made, and work was begun. The chancel was stripped of its 
woodwork and furnishings, and the stained glass window and all the 
wall tablets in the church were removed and stored. Also removed 
were the pews and flooring William Nichols had installed in 1807, and 
the doors and windows. The only thing which could not be removed 
was the organ. Archaeological examination located eight graves under 
the church, three with stones over them, and enough colonial floor 


As the 10th Century Continues 

tiles to be reproduced for the restored church. Only the brick walls and 
structural timbers supporting the galleries and roof were left. 

The fire broke out during the lunch hour on June 1, 1949, a hot 
windy day when roof timbers were being creosoted to stop further rot. 
It destroyed everything that would burn — all the framing for galleries, 
roof, and spire. Only the walls were left. The Chowan Herald reported 
that people "wept in the streets as they saw the church burn." 

Fortunately, because of the architectural studies already made, the 
church could be reproduced accurately in every detail. 

1949 • "Condemned" 
The Reverend Harold 
W. Gilmer surveys the 
scene of the fire. 


far left: 

Charred roof beams 
and missinq spire 


left-.The burned-out 
chancel from the 




As the ioth Century Continues 

Cover of the Order of 
Service for the 
deconsecration, 1959 


1962 • The 79th 
Diocesan Convention 
is held at St. Paul's. 



===== OF ===== 


The architect first appointed to carry out the reconstruction did not 
approve of rebuilding the galleries and therefore resigned when the 
congregation insisted on keeping them; not only did the galleries 
provide much-needed seating, but historical precedent dictated that 
they remain. The project was completed by an equally experienced 
architect. Only the four little urns William Nichols had added to the 
corners of the bell tower in 1806 were omitted. 

Bishop Wright came for the first service in the restored church, 
on June 1, 1950, and — when the last penny of debt had been paid — for 

its reconsecration in 1959 on the 
day after St. Paul's Day, January 
26, 1959. Three other bishops took 
part in that service: Bishop Gunn 
of the diocese of Southern 
Virginia, Bishop Penick of the 
diocese of North Carolina, and 
Bishop Henry of the diocese of 
Western Carolina. 

The church was filled for the 
ceremony with Episcopalians from 
Eastern Carolina and Virginia. 
The proceedings started with three 
heavy knocks on the outer panel 
of the church doors, delivered by 
the bishop with his pastoral staff. 
They ended with the resounding 
strains of Pomp and Circumstance. 
Three years later, the 79th annual convention of the Diocese of East 
Carolina was held at St. Paul's on June 16 and 17. That same month, 
on June 27, 1962, the congregation of St. Paul's attended the ordination 
to the diaconate by Bishop Wright of a member, Michael T. Malone, 
one of three young members of St. Paul's called to the ministry in the 
space of five years. The others were Thomas C. Kehayes, ordained at 





As the ioth Century Continues 

St. Paul's in 1965 on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, and Keith J. 
Reeve, ordained to the deaconate at St. John's, Fayetteville in June 


During the twentieth century the Diocese of East Carolina was 
served by seven bishops: Alfred A. Watson (1884-1903), Robert Strange 
(1904-14), Thomas C. Darst (1915-45), Thomas H. Wright (1945-73), 
Hunley Elebash (1973-83), B. Sidney Sanders (1983-97), and Clifton 
Daniel the present bishop, who was called to the post in 1997. 

In the seven decades between Dr. Drane's retirement in 1932 and 
the 300th anniversary of the founding of St. Paul's parish, nine rectors 
served the congregation of St. Paul's. As well as the extraordinary 
events already described, this period witnessed the steady growth of 
the congregation, the increasing inclusion of children in parish life, a 



Clergymen of the ioth Century 

growing awareness of the history of the church and churchyard, the 
expansion of the parish house to include a nursery children's chapel, 
and two classrooms, and the introduction of the new Prayer Book. 

The rector who followed Dr. Drane, Charles A. Ashby, was called 
to St. Paul's in 1933 at the recommendation of Bishop Darst, who had 
known him since boyhood. Despite bad health and his wife's paralysis, 
Mr. Ashby delivered to his congregation excellent and practical sermons. 
He was also responsible for initiating the effort to establish Pettigrew 
Park, a state historic park in Washington County, North Carolina in 
memory of General James Johnston Pettigrew, grandson of the 
Reverend Charles Pettigrew. 

In 1942 Mr. Ashby was succeeded by the Reverend Lewis F. Schenck, 
rector for less than a year before being called to serve a larger parish. 
Harold W. Gilmer came to the parish as rector in 1944. He received his 
theological training at Dubose Memorial Church Training School, 
Sewanee, Tennessee, a school for men entering the ministry long after 
the age for seminary education. Mr. Gilmer was noted for the beauty 
of his reading of the Bible and the Prayer Book services. He retired in 

1954- The churchyard The visit of the landscape architect Charles Freeman Gillette 
is praised for its (1886-1969) of Richmond, Virginia, was one of the highlights of the 
historically accurate rectorship of Gordon D. Bennett, who served St. Paul's from 1950 to 
preservation. 1956. Mr. Bennett's interest in the grounds at St. Paul's led the church- 
yard committee to seek professional assistance. Nationally recognized 
as one of the premier specialists in the restoration and re-creation of 
historic gardens, Mr. Gillette visited Edenton in 1954. After a double 
inspection of the churchyard, once by himself and then with members 
of the committee, Mr. Gillette congratulated the parish on maintaining 
the churchyard as a cemetery, not a garden, and preserving it in an 
historically correct manner. He refused compensation for his advice. 

George B. Holmes succeeded Mr. Bennett in 1957. Born in Norfolk, 
Virginia, and educated at William and Mary, Seabury-Western 
Theological Seminary, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Holmes 
served in three parishes in Virginia (Mecklenburg County Courthouse, 


Clergymen of the 20th Century 

Pulaski, and Roanoke) and four in North Carolina (St. Paul's, Edenton; 
Wadesboro; Ansonville; and Greensboro). At St. Paul's he copied 
many of the epitaphs on gravestones in the churchyard, and compiled 
in a booklet a number of stories about the history and legends of the 

Pastoral visiting was among the strengths of the priest who 
followed Mr. Holmes. Raymond W. Storie was a well-loved rector, 
known for his quick wit and generous sense of humor. During his 
tenure Mr. Storie helped the members of St. Paul's make the transition 
from use of the 1928 Prayer Book to Rite II of 1979. He led the church 
with great strength of character, and the congregation of St. Paul's 
grew during his ministry. A native of Florida, Mr. Storie served St. 
Paul's from 1974 until his sudden death in 1983. 

The Reverend John W. Gibson came to St. Paul's in 1984, after 
serving congregations in Stamford, Connecticut; Youngstown, New 
York; and Greater Lockport, New York. Born in Providence, Rhode 
Island, and a graduate of Brown University, Mr. Gibson received a 
Master of Divinity degree from Yale in 1974. He is remembered for his 

St. Pauls Churchyard 


1979 • A new Frayer 
Book is introduced. 



Clergymen of the ioth Century 

gift of teaching, especially his Wednesday night classes on the Holy 
Spirit. He left Edenton in 1989 and is now rector of the Church of the 
Holy Cross in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

The Reverend Russell L. Johnson followed in 1991. A graduate of 
the Naval Academy, Mr. Johnson had a distinguished career as pilot. 
He earned a Master of Divinity degree from the University of the 
South at Sewanee in 1982. Before coming to St. Paul's, Mr. Johnson 
served as assistant rector of St. John's Church in Wilmington, North 
Carolina, and as rector of Trinity Church, Pinopolis, South Carolina, 
and of Trinity Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 1994, under his 
1994 • The guidance, St. Paul's embarked upon the Traditions of Faith campaign 
"Traditions of Faith" to improve the parish facilities, which included the renovation and 
campaign to improve enlargement of the parish house, expansion of the parish hall, and 
parish facilities ren ovation of the church choir loft. Mr. Johnson left in 1997 and the 
begins, church was served by the Reverend John C. Rivers as interim priest 
until the incumbent rector arrived. 



The Reverend Thomas M. Rickenbaker, born in Cheyenne, 
Wyoming, is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the 
Virginia Theological Seminary, where he received the degree of Master 
of Divinity in 1983. Before coming to St. Paul's, Mr. Rickenbaker 
served in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as assistant at St. Christopher's 
Church and founder and vicar of St. Margaret's. His focus at St. Paul's 
is on outreach, especially encouraging efforts in the mission field. Mr. 
Rickenbaker serves as chaplain to the Town of Edenton Police 
Department and the County Sheriff's Department. 

He is helped in his ministry by the Reverend Alfonso A. Narvaez. 
Mr. Narvaez was born in New York City to parents who came to this 
country from Puerto Rico in 1919. Reared as a Roman Catholic, he grad- 
uated from Hunter College in 1962, and gained an M.A. in Journalism 
from Columbia University in 1964. For twenty-three years he served 


Moving Forward 

as a reporter for the New York Times. His experiences led him back to a 
calling he had felt since boyhood, and he enrolled in the Instituto 
Pastoral Hispano, a special curriculum for aspiring priests, sponsored 
by four dioceses and held at St. John the Divine in New York. He was 
ordained priest in 1986. After service in churches in New Jersey and 
Texas, "Father Al" came to St. Paul's in 1999, where his focus is on out- 
reach programs developed particularly to serve the needs of Hispanic 
families in this country and in Latin America. 

In 1999 music at St. Paul's was significantly improved when Alice 1999 ■ A new organ is 
Cason Lineberger and her daughters, Alice, Elizabeth, and Cason, donated to St. Paul's, 
gave the church an organ designed especially for the space. The two- 
manual he Tourneau with a midi-synthesizer for special effects was built 
in Canada. Organist Rosalind MacEnulty played it for services in 
September that year, and on October 31st the dedicatory concert was 
given by Ben Hutto. 

Today St. Paul's Episcopal Church consists of more than 200 families St. Paul's flourishes in 
and almost 450 active members. It has one of the largest youth programs the 21st century. 
in the Diocese of East Carolina, serving more than 100 children 
between the ages of one and seventeen. The young members are 
involved with mission and outreach efforts locally, in Appalachia, and 
in overseas missions. An excellent Christian education program serves 
the needs of both children and adults. 

Outreach programs are particularly important in the life of St. 
Paul's. Members serve the local community by participating in several 
projects devoted to the welfare of the disadvantaged, such as Habitat 
for Humanity, Edenton Emergency Aid, and the Edenton-Chowan 
Food Pantry, which the vestry started in 1983. Further afield, the 
parish sponsors a seminarian each summer as well as mission work in 
Belize, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, and Uganda. Each 
week as the congregation leaves the church they are reminded of the 
parish's committment to outreach, by a sign placed prominently at the 
churchyard gate: 

"You are now entering the mission field. Go forth to serve the Lord!" 




200I- 300th AS THE THREE-HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY of the founding of St 

anniversary plans Paul's parish approached, a committee was formed to plan events for 
are made, the year of the anniversary celebration. On September 20, 2001, the 
Tricentennial Committee adopted the following Mission Statement: 

"Through the observation and celebration of the 300 years in the life 
of St. Paul's Parish, we seek to deepen our faith in God, to strengthen 
our life together, and to reach out to others. Our observation and 
celebration will include four areas: 

"Worshiping: Our focus remains on God, but by worshiping using 
four earlier prayer books we may become more open to the richness 
of our present prayer book. 

"Gathering: By gathering four times during the year to hear our 
story, and by inviting those who themselves or whose families have 
had a significant role in our history, we may become more aware of 
who we are as a congregational family, and deepen our commitment 
to love God and one another. 

"Learning: By regular publication of episodes in our history, and 
by development of a new informational brochure about our church, 
we may learn how changing times and evolving theology have made 
us what we are today. May this help us to grow in our pilgrimage of 
seeking to be faithful to Christ. 

"Promoting Stewardship: By efforts in all ways to contribute to 
our church life and now to seek to preserve the old Rector's Study, 
we may make our church a most welcoming place for worship 
and a place that is even more useful to parish life." 


During the course of the tricentennial year, as part of the focus on 
historic worship, with the participation of distinguished visiting 



Tricentennial Celebration 

priests, four special services were held. The first took place on Sunday, 
November 11, 2001, when the Reverend Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr., 
rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, Montgomery, Alabama, assisted 
with a service in accordance with the liturgy of the Book of Common 
Prayer, 1662. 

On Sunday, January 27, 2002, the Reverend Dr. Lyndon F. Harris, 
priest-in-charge of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, New York, joined 
members of St. Paul's some four months after the terrorists' attack on 
the World Trade Center. Dr. Harris assisted with a service conducted 
according to the post-Revolutionary Prayer Book of 1789. 

The previous evening Dr. Harris served as guest speaker at a 
special program whose sponsors included St. Paul's. The purpose of 
the program was to present the story of the assistance of all kinds 
given to hundreds by volunteers at St. Paul's, New York, in the wake 
of the disaster. The event, attended by almost 1,000 individuals, raised 
over $5,000 for Father Harris's Discretionary Fund for relief to victims 
of the terrorists' strike. 

A third special service, on Sunday, September, 22, 2002, featured 
the Reverend William Marshall Brock, rector of St. Michael's and All 
Angels' Episcopal Church, Savannah, Georgia, who assisted in the 
presentation of the service according to the 1892 Book of Common 


The culmination of the year-long celebration took place on November 
10, 2002, when more than 350 members of St. Paul's and their guests 
attended a special "Homecoming" service. Present for the occasion 
were the the Right Reverend Clifton Daniel III, Bishop of the Diocese 
of East Carolina, who served as celebrant; the Reverend Thomas M. 
Rickenbaker, rector of St. Paul's, and his wife, Cindy; the Reverend 
Alfonso Narvaez, assistant to the rector, and his wife, Dabney; and the 
Reverend Charles Gill, rector of St. Andrew's, Nags Head, who presented 
the homily. 

Several former rectors of St. Paul's also attended. They included 
the Reverend John W. Gibson, 27th rector, and his wife, Lisa; the 

Special programs are 
presented throughout 
the tricentennial year . 

November io, 2002 ■ 
A "Homecoming" 
service is held at St. 



Ty {centennial Celehration 

Reverend John C. Rivers, former interim rector, and his wife Gloria; 
the Reverend Russell L. Johnson, 28th rector, and his wife, Judith; and 
Mrs. Pat Storie Polk, widow of Raymond W. Storie, 26th rector. 
Additional guests included the Reverend Canon Matthew Stockard, 
Canon to the Ordinary, and the Reverend Keith Reeve, sponsored in 
seminary by St. Paul's. 

Following the service, which was conducted according to the liturgy 
of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, participants enjoyed a picnic in 
the churchyard. Documentary photographs of St. Paul's and volumes 
of vestry minutes and other publications dating from the early 
eighteenth century were on display in the parish house 

A Celebration of Faith 

As part of the tricentennial celebration, a brochure about the history of 
the church was produced. In addition, the tricentennial effort made 
possible the publication of this book. With it, the congregation of St. 
Paul's celebrates the first three hundred years of this historic parish 
and looks forward to the future with a sense of continuing purpose 
and renewed faith. 




The Rectors Study 
and Churchyard 


Many subscriptions and extra donations were received for A Celebration of 
Faith: 300 Years in the Life of St. Paul's. These contributions, like all profits from 
the sale of the book, will go toward funding the restoration of the old Rector's 
Study. The list of subscribers, current to June 19, 2003, was provided by the 
church office. Much effort has been made to ensure that the list is complete, 
with the hope that all subscribers are correctly represented. Their support is 
much appreciated. 




Louise Artman 
in memory ofR. Townsend and Blythe Miller Artman, 
and in honor of Nathan Owen Cranford and Mattie Barton Way Cranford 

Chris and Grace Bean, in thanksgiving for Alex and Stuart 

Carol Dean Becker, in memory of Gertrude Shepard Rosevear, 
Louise Badham Dixon, and Rebecca Wood Drane 

Thomas John Frederick Becker, in honor of 
the Reverend Frederick Blount Drane 

David and Peggy Blomquist 

James Bond 

Lin and Amelia Bond 

Jean Bridges, in memory of Philip M. Bridges 

Anne Bruce, in memory of Robert K. Bruce 

Max and Kathy Busby 

Norman and Lyn Castellani 

Edward and Rachel Clement 

Miles and Regan Coxe, in honor of 
Emily Wood Badham Coxe 

Charlie and Susan Creighton 

in thanksgiving for family and friends 

Ginny Culpepper 

John and Ann Cutter, in memory of 
Freeman and Margaret Cutter and Elmer and Mary Dodd 

Chuck and Flora Hall Wood Davis, Marthanne and Virginia Flora Davis, 
and Benbury Wood, Jr., in honor ofBenbury and Virginia Wood 

Jean deMajewski, in memory of Andrew K. deMajewski 

Annie Gray Nash Dixon, Arabella Benbury Dixon, and William 
Badham Cheshire Dixon, in honor of Elizabeth Vann Moore 

Betty Bobbitt Dixon, in memory of Richard Dillard Dixon, Jr. 




Richard Dillard Dixon III, Samuel Bobbitt Dixon, 
and Betty Bobbitt Dixon Pruden, in honor of Betty Bobbitt Dixon 

Richard Dillard Dixon III, in memory of 
Richard Dillard Dixon, Sr. and Richard Dillard Dixon, Jr. 

Richard Dillard Dixon IV, in memory of Richard Dillard Dixon, Sr., 
and Richard Dillard Dixon, Jr. 

Samuel B. and Gray Dixon, in memory of 
Louise Manning Badham Dixon 

Anne Rouse Edwards, in memory of Ed Paxton 

Arch and Jane Edwards 

Hood and Anne Ellis 

David and Fiona Finch, in memory of 
Ruth Woodley, a delated Episcopalian 

Bill, Jr. and Paula Gardner, in memory of William Badham Gardner, Sr. 

William H. and Mary Louise Gardner, in memory of 
Emma Badham Gardner and Lucy Bond Badham 

Jim and Barbara Gilliam, in memory of Willie Gilliam 

Livy Goodman, in loving memory of Betty Goodman 
and with Marion Goodman, in thanksgiving for 
their children and grandchildren 

Wilson and Pat Greene, in thanksgiving for their children 

G. William Greer 

Martha and Stephen Guttu, in thanksgiving for 
their children, grandchildren, and godchildren 

Scotty and Missie Harrell, in thanksgiving for Marjorie Capehart 

Mark and Harriett deHart, in memory of Walter and Caroline Abbe 

Betty Howison, in memory of 
Charles Paddock Wales and Duncan Winston Wales 

Ross and Frances Inglis, in great thanksgiving 




Burton and Mary Rhea Jones, in memory of 
John Meredith and Margaret Hathaway Jones, 
Emma Badham Gardner, and William Badham Gardner, Sr. 

Don and Sherry Jordan, with hope for 
the future of church and community, and in honor of 
their godchildren, Graham and Hollis Elmore 

Tilmon and Linda Keel, in thanksgiving for 
their many blessings, and for their family and friends 

Jack and Peggy Kenealy, in honor of 
their family and their Edenton friends 

Vince and Katherine Kopp, in thanksgiving for 
Margaret, Elizabeth, and Katherine 

Chris and Donna Koppelman, in thanksgiving for 
family and friends 

Charlie and Annie Gray Lane, in honor of Sambo and Gray Dixon 

Steve and Linda Lane, in memory of Bessie M. Varin 

Pierce and Pat Lawing, in honor of their children 

J. Clarence Leary, in memory of Martha Conger Eeary 

Nancy Wood Mordecai, in memory of 
John and Elizabeth Folke Campbell 
Richard Dillard Dixon, Jr. 
Charles Grice and Elizabeth Benbury Wood McMullan 
William Dossey Pntden, Jr. 
Charles Henry Wood, Jr. 
Frank and Martha Michael Wood 
James Edward and Anne Eanghorne Kemp Wood 
Julien Gilliam and Elizabeth Benbury Badham Wood 
Sara Wood 

John Morehead, in honor of the Reverend John Gibson 
Al and Dabney Narvaez, in honor of their children 
Neil and Lois O'Brien, in thanksgiving for family and friends 
Louise Manning Pruden, in memory ofEouise Manning Badham Dixon 




Keith Reeve 

Robert and Amelia Reinheld, in thanksgiving for 
their many blessings, and for family and friends 

Anne Graham Rowe, in memory of John and Dorothy Graham 

St. Paul's Church 

Nora Hutton Shepard, in memory of 
Robert Bowden Shepard and Robert Bozvden Shepard, Jr. 

Tom and Becky Shepard 

Lonnie, Carol, and Ellison Sieck, in memory of 
the Reverend Benjamin C. Ellison 

Allen and Tula Summerford, in memory of John and Helen Miliakos 

Paul and Kitty Townsend, in memory of Pauly 

Roland and Peggy Anne Vaughan 

Fitzhugh Lee, Jr. and Sara Wood Wickham, 
in loving memory of James E. and Anne Kemp Wood, 
George Collins and Frances Lamb Haughton Wood, 
and Louise Manning Badham Dixon, 
and in recognition of the generations of those who have served 
as members of the altar guild 

Terry Waff 

Benbury and Virginia Wood, in memory of 
George Collins and Fan Lamb Haughton Wood 

Fred and Elaine Wood 

Gilliam and Annette Wood, in memory of 
John Leila Budlong Wood and Jim Wood 

Nancy Trask Wood, with thanksgiving for 
children and grandchildren, and for St. Paul 

Nell Wood, in memory of Charles H. Wood, Jr. 
and Charles, Sr. and Edith Bond Wood 

David and Angie Wright, in memory of 
Dorothy and Walter Wright 



In addition to the archival material held at the office of St. Paul's Church, Edenton, a 
great deal of source material about the history of St. Paul's can be found in the Archives 
of the Society for the Propogation of the Gospel in London, England; in the office of 
the Diocese of East Carolina, Kinston; and at the Division of Archives and History of 
the NC Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh. Readers wishing to study the 
history of St. Paul's in greater depth are encouraged to consult these archives and to 
study the following material, from which the quoted matter in the book is taken. 


Gerald Allen and Jeffery Harbinson, Architects, PC: "A Plan for a New Organ, and 
a Renovated and Expanded Parish House," July 1995 

Joseph Blount Cheshire: "Fifty Years of Church Life in North Carolina," address, 1926 

Dr. Richard Dillard and Captain Richard D. Dixon: "A Brief History of Edenton and 
Its Environs," manuscript, date unknown 

Theodosia Wales Glenn: "The Bells of Old Saint Paul's," pageant, 1926 

John Washington Graham: "A History of Saint Paul's Church, Edenton, North 
Carolina," manuscript, 1936 

George Black Holmes: "History of Saint Paul's Episcopal Chuch in Edenton, North 
Carolina/'manuscript, 1964 

George Black Holmes: "Saint Paul's Episcopal Church: An Outline for the Running 
of Saint Paul's Church," 1967 

Elizabeth Vann Moore: "Saint Paul's Churchyard, 1722: A Study on Saint Paul's 
Episcopal Churchyard," unfinished manuscript 

Elizabeth Vann Moore: "Saint Paul's Church Records: Black Parishioners, 1832-85," 
unfinished manuscript 

NC Department of Cultural Resources; "Saint Paul's Episcopal Church and 
Churchyard," National Register of Historic Places Nomination Forms, 1934, 1935, 
1937, 1939 

Thos Thompson, Wm J. Leary, Frank Wood: "Restoration of Governors' Graves, 
Saint Paul's, Edenton, North Carolina/'manuscript, July 1889 


Select Bibliography 

Mrs Charles P. Wales: "The Ministry of the Reverend R. B. Drane, DD," speech, May 

A.A. Watson, D.D.S.: "The History of Saint Paul's Parish," sermon, May 1901 


Addleshaw and Etchells: The Architectural Setting of Anglican Worship, 2nd edition, 
Faber and Faber, 1950 

Catherine W. Bishir: North Carolina Architecture, Historic Preservation Foundation of 
NC, Inc, 1990 

W. Scott Boyce: Economic and Social History of Chowan County, 1880-1915, Columbia 
University, NY, 1917 

John Brickell: The Natural History of North Carolina, 1737, reprinted by Johnson Pub. 
Co., Murfreesboro, 1968 

Thomas R. Butchko: Edenton: An Architectural Portrait, The Edenton Women's Club, 

William Byrd, edited by William K. Boyd: William Byrd's Histories of the Dividing Line 
Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina, North Carolina Historical Commission, 1929 

David LeRoy Corbitt: The Formation of the North Carolina Counties, 1663-1943, State 
Division of Archives and History, 1950 

Diocese of East Carolina: Journals of the Annual Conventions, Office of the Diocese of 
East Carolina, various dates 

Raymond Parker Fouts: Vestry Minutes of Saint Paul's Parish, Chowan County, North 
Carolina, 1701-1776, GenRec Books, 1983 

T.M.N. George: The Corporation, 1901: The Religious and Historic Commemoration of the 
Two Hundred Years of St. Paul's Parish, Edenton, NC, 1901 

Clement Hall, with an introduction by William S. Powell: A Collection of Many 
Christian Experiences, Sentences, and Several Places of Scripture Improved, 
NC Department of Archives and History, 1961 

J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton: The Papers of Thomas Ruffin, 4 vols, North Carolina 
Historical Commission, 1918 

Francis Latham Harriss, editor: Lawson's History of Carolina, 3rd edition, Garrett and 
Massie, 1960 

Anne S. W. Leclerq: An Antebellum Plantation Household, University of South 
Carolina, 1996 

Hugh Talmadge Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome: The History of a Southern State: 
North Carolina, UNC Press, 1973 



Select Bibliography 

Lawrence Foushee London and Sarah McCulloh Lemmon, editors: The Episcopal 
Church in North Carolina, 1701-1959, The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, 1987 

Elizabeth Vann Moore: Guidebook to Historic Edenton and Chowan County, Edenton 
Women's Club, 1989 

Thomas C. Parramore: Cradle of the Colony: The History of Chowan County and 
Edenton, North Carolina, Edenton Chamber of Commerce, 1967 

William S. Powell: North Carolina Through Four Centuries, UNC Press, 1989 

William S. Powell, editor: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 vols, UNC Press, 

William S. Powell, editor: The North Carolina Gazetteer, UNC Press, 1982 

William L. Saunders, editor: The Colonial Records of North Carolina, 10 vols, Josephus 
Daniels, 1886-90 


author unknown: "Historic Old Parish to Entertain Convention," Mission Herald, 
vol. XXXV, Plymouth, NC, March 1921 

Joseph Blount Cheshire: "The Church in the Province of North Carolina," Sketches of 
Church History in North Carolina, Wm. L. De Rossett, Wilmington, NC, 1892 

Frank Grubbs: "North Carolina's Worst Priest?" North Carolina Churchman, date 

Flynn Surralt: "St. Paul's Continues to Influence Life Here," Albemarle Magazine, 
Edenton, NC, April 2001 

Thomas Tileston Waterman: "Historical Sketch of Saint Paul's Parish," The Early 
Architecture ofNC, UNC Press, 1947 

UNC Library: "North Carolina County Histories: A Bibliography," UNC Library 
Studies, Number 1, 1958 


Edgar Legare Pennington: The Church of England and the Reverend Clement Hall in 
Colonial North Carolina, Church Missions Publishing Company, 1937 

St. John's Church: A Brief History of St. John's, St. John's Episcopal Church, Edenton, 

St. Paul's Church: Order of Service for the Consecration of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, 
Edenton, January 26, 1959 

St. Paul's Church: Program for the 250th Anniversary of Saint Paul's, 1951 



Adams, James, missionary 21, 26 

Ashby, Charles A., rector 92 

Atkinson, Thomas, Bishop of North Carolina 72-5, 73, 77, 80 

Avery, John, rector 56-8, 57 

Badham, Captain William, Jr, officer of Edenton Bell Battery 72 

Bailey, Thomas, missionary 31 

Ballard, property owner 25 

Beasley, John, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Benbury, Thomas, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Benbury, William, vestryman, 1701 14, 17 

Bennett, Gordon D., rector 92, 93 

Bennett, William, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Benton, Angelo Ames, rector 77-8, 77 

Benton, George, priest, father of A. A. Benton 77 

Blacknall, John, rector 31, 31 

Blair, John, rector 19-20, 21 

Blount, Ann, wife of Ebenezer Pettigrew 58 

Blount family 45 

Blount, Captain Thomas, vestryman, 1701 14, 28 

Blount, Charles, business partner of Joseph Hewes 41 

Blount, John B, delegate to 1817 Diocesan Convention 50 

Blount, John, vestryman, 1701 14, 17 

Blount, Mary, first wife of Charles Pettigrew 47 

Bodley, Joshua 84 

Bonner, Thomas, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Boyd, John, rector of Society Parish, Bertie County, NC 31, 32, 39 

Boyd, William, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Boyle, Thomas, property owner 25 

Brett, Daniel, missionary 13, 18 

Brock, William Marshall, rector of St. Michael's & All Angels, Savannah . 
Bryant, William Cullen, poet 57 

Buford, Sarah, second wife of John Stark Ravenscroft 52 

Burgwin, Margaret Ann, widow of Samuel I. Johnston 76, 77 

Burwell, Anne Spotswood, first wife of John Stark Ravenscroft 51 

Cabarrus, Henrietta, daughter of Stephen Cabarrus 84 

Cabarrus, Stephen, church member and statesman 84 



Cairns, William D., rector 58 

Carteret, John, grandson of Earl of Granville, one of first Lords Proprietors 38 

Charles II, King of England 13 

Cheshire, Joseph Blount, rector of Calvary Church, Tarboro 78, 80 

Cheshire, Joseph Blount, Bishop of East Carolina 27, 72, 77, 80 

Chevin, Nathaniel, vestryman, 1701 14, 16 

Clark, Henry Toole, Governor 80 

Clay, Jehu Curtis, rector of Christ Church, New Bern 50 

Collins family, church members 64, 71 

Collins, Josiah, church member 50, 71 

Collins, Josiah, Jr., church member 64-5 

Corbin, Francis, land agent 38 

Cotten, Elizabeth, mother of Samuel I. Johnston 65 

Crisp, Nicholas, vestryman, 1701 14, 17 

Curton, Richard, reader 18 

Daniel, Clifton, Bishop of East Carolina 91, 97 

Darst, Thomas C, Bishop of East Carolina 91, 92 

Dillard, Richard, church member 25 

Dobbs, Arthur, Royal Governor 40 

Doremus, Owen, artist 70 

Drane, Brent Skinner, son of Robert Brent Drane 84 

Drane, Frederick Blount, priest, son of Robert Brent Drane 80 

Drane, Robert Brent, father of Robert Brent Drane 80 

Drane, Robert Brent, rector 79-87, 81, 91 

Duckinfield, William, vestryman, 1701 14 

Dummer, Jeremiah, silversmith 29 

Earl, Ann, daughter of Daniel Earl 39 

Earl, Daniel, rector 39-40, 44, 45 

Earl, Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel Earl, wife of Charles Johnson 39 

Eden, Charles, Royal Governor, church member 28, 32, 84 

Elebash, Hunley, Bishop of East Carolina 91 

Empie, Adam, rector of St. James's, Wilmington 50 

Everard, Richard, Royal Governor, church member 33 

Foster, Frances, wife of Clement Hall 34 

Fountain, The Reverend Mr., missionary 31 

Garett, Thomas, property owner 25 

Garzia, John, missionary 31 

Gerrard, Henry, rector 20-1 

Gibson, Edmund, Bishop of London 36 

Gibson, John W., rector 93-4, 97 

Gibson, Lisa, wife of John W. Gibson 97 

Gill, Charles, rector of St. Andrew's by the Sea, Nags Head 97 

Gillette, Charles Freeman, landscape architect 92 

Gilliam, Edward W., assistant rector 76 

Gilliam, Thomas, landowner 14, 15, 17 




Gilmer, Harold W., rector 89, 92 

Glenn, Theodosia Wales, author of "The Bells of Old St. Paul's" 86 

Gordon, William, rector 21 

Grant, General Ulysees S., commander of Union troops 79 

Granville, Bevil, missionary 31 

Granville, Earl of, see John Carteret 

Gregory, Elizabeth, first ivife of Daniel Earl 39 

Gunn, Bishop of Southern Virginia 90 

Hall, Clement, rector 33-9, 37, 40, 59 

Hall, Robert, brother of Clement 34 

Hargrave, John H., first husband of Catherine Parker 79 

Harris, Lyndon F., rector of St. Paul's Church, Neiv York City 98 

Harwood, Eliza, wife of Tristrim Lowther Skinner 80 

Hatch, Frederick W., rector 48 

Hawks, Francis Lister, attorney and writer 27, 55 

Hawks, John, architect 41 

Henry, Bishop of Western Carolina 90 

Heritage, J. W., priest 83 

Hewes, Joseph, church member, signer of the Declaration of Independence 41 

Hill, Aaron, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Hilliard, Francis, rector 68, 69, 71, 75-7, 76, 83 

Hilliard, J. M., priest 83 

Hinton, William, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Hobart, Bishop of New York 64 

Hofler, Hance, vestryman 41 

Holmes, George B., rector 92-3 

Hoskins, Richard, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Hunter, Jacob, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Hutto, Ben, organist 95 

Iredell, James, Sr., church member and Supreme Court justice 41 

Ives, Levi Silliman, Bishop of North Carolina 62-5, 63, 66, 68, 72 

Johnson, Charles, son-in-law of Daniel Earl 39 

Johnson, Charles Earl, grandson of Daniel Earl 39 

Johnson, Judith, wife of Russell L. Johnson 98 

Johnson, Russell L., rector 94, 98 

Johnston, Samuel, Governor, first state senator, church member 41, 66 

Johnston, James Cathcart, landowner 48, 65 

Johnston, John Seymour, brother of Samuel, father of Samuel Iredell Johnston 65 

Johnston, Samuel Iredell, rector 65-71, 66, 72, 75 

Jones, Charity, second wife of Daniel Earl 39 

Jones, Frederick, landowner 26 

Jones, Lieutenant John Meredith, officer, Edenton Bell Battery 71 

Jones, Thomas, church member, clerk of court 39, 41 

Jones, Walter, missionary 31 

Judd, Bethel, rector of St. John's, Fayetteville 50 




Keith, George, missionary 18, 19 

Kemp, Bishop of Maryland 57 

Kerr, Alexander, silversmith 29 

Kehayes, Thomas C, priest 90 

Knight, Tobias, church member, secretary to Governor Eden 28 

Leary, Ann, wife of Robert Hall, sister-in-law of Clement Hall 34 

Lemmon, Sarah McCulloh, historian 44, 47, 50, 54, 56, 60 

Lillington, Anne, widow of Henderson Walker, wife of Edward Moseley 28 

Lineberger family, benefactors 95 

Long, James, vestryman, 1701 15 

Lord, William Wilberforce, rector 78-9 

Lords Proprietors xi, 13, 32 

Lounsbury, Carl, architectural historian 22-4 

Lovick, John 33 

Luten, Captain Thomas, vestryman, 1701 14, 16, 17, 18 

Lyman, Theodore Benedict, Bishop of North Carolina 75, 82-3 

Maison, Charles, assistant rector 68 

Malone, Michael T., priest 90 

Marsden, Richard, missionary 31 

Martin, Josiah, Royal Governor 43 

MacEnulty, Rosalind, organist 96 

McKinnon, Thomas, bishop 78 

Monck, George, 1st Duke of Albemarle 13 

Moore, Richard Channing, Bishop of Virginia 51, 75 

Moseley, Colonel Edward, vestryman 25-6, 28-9, 29, 33 

Narvaez, Alfonso A., assistant rector 94-5, 97 

Narvaez, Dabney, wife of Alfonso A. Narvaez 97 

Newnam (Newman), Thomas, rector 30-1 

Nichols, William, architect 48, 49, 58, 70, 88, 90 

Nicholson, Francis, Governor of Virginia 28 

Page, Herbert H., church member and benefactor 82 

Paine, Nancy, wife of John Avery 57 

Parker, Catherine Caroline, mother of Robert Brent Drane 80 

Parkman, Charles McDonough, assistant rector 65, 68-9, 69 

Penick, Bishop of North Carolina 90 

Pennington, Edgar Legare, church historian 27, 30 

Pettigrew, Charles, rector, bishop-elect of North Carolina 44-7, 45, 48, 61, 92 

Pettigrew, Ebenezer, son of Charles Pettigrew 58 

Pettigrew, General James Johnston, grandson of Charles Pettigrew 65, 92 

Polk, Pat Storie, widow of Raymond W. Storie 98 

Pollock, Colonel Thomas, Royal Governor, vestryman, 1701 14, 84 

Porter, John, builder 18 

Powell, William S., historian 33 

Rainsford, Giles, missionary 27, 30 

Ravenscroft, John Stark, Bishop of North Carolina 51-6, 53, 60, 62 




Reeve, Keith J., priest 91, 98 

Rice, David, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Rickenbaker, Cindy, wife of Thomas M. Rickenbaker 97 

Rickenbaker, Thomas M., rector 94, 97 

Rivers, Gloria, wife of John C. Rivers 98 

Rivers, John C, interim rector 94, 98 

Roberts, William, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Robinson, The Reverend Mr., missionary 31 

Ruffin, Thomas, attorney 52 

Sanders, B. Sidney, Bishop of East Carolina 91 

Schenk, Lewis F., rector 92 

Simons, Sarah, second wife of William Nichols 48 

Skinner, Henry A., assistant rector 75 

Skinner, Joseph B., benefactor 62 

Skinner, Maria Louise Warren, wife of Robert Brent Drane 80, 87 

Skinner, Penelope J. D., benefactor 61 

Skinner, Major Tristrim Lowther, son of Joseph B. Skinner 62, 80 

Smithwick, Edward, vestryman, 1701 14 

Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge see SPG 

Society for the Propogation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts see SPG 

SPG 13, 16, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 34, 35, 38, 39, 40, 44, 68 

Stockard, Matthew, Canon to the Ordinary 98 

Storie, Raymond W., rector 93, 98 

Strange, Robert, Bishop of East Carolina 91 

Talbot, John, missionary 18-19 

Taylor, Ebenezer, missionary 30 

Urmston (Urmstone), John, rector 26-7, 28, 30 

Wales, Mrs. Charles P., church member 87 

Walker, Henderson, Royal Governor, vestryman, 1701 13, 14, 17, 28, 29, 84 

Walton, Pelatiah, vestryman, signer of the Test 42 

Warren, Dr. Edward, church member 67 

Watson, Alfred A., Bishop of East Carolina 83, 91 

White, Bishop of Pennsylvania 46 

Wilkinson, Colonel William, vestryman, 1701 14, 16, 17, 18 

Williamson, Hugh, church member, signer of the U.S. Constitution 41 

Wills, Frank, architect 70 

Wisnewski, Robert C, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, Montgomery, Ala 97 

Wright, Thomas H., Bishop of East Carolina 90, 91, 91 



The Author 

Anne Rouse Edwards is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate 
of Duke University and holds a master's degree in English 
from the University of Virginia. A long-time member of St. Paul's, 
she also serves as a member of the Edenton Historical Commission. 
Anne lives and writes with her golden retriever, "Khaki Rose," 
in Edenton's historic district. 

The Tricentennial Committee 

M. H. Hood Ellis and Ann Harrell Perry, Co-Chairmen 
Samuel Bobbitt Dixon • Anne Rouse Edwards 
Frances Drane Inglis ■ Elizabeth Vann Moore 
Thomas M. Rickenbaker, ex-officio 

Sweet Bay Tree Books 

Founded in Columbia, NC in 1993, Sweet Bay Tree Books 
specializes in memoirs and books of local interest: 
the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. 


A Celehr ation of Faith 


The history of St. Paul's Church is essentially the story of 
the founding of edenton and chowan county, and of the people 
who have lived there for more than three centuries, 
it is a story worth recording. 

A Celebration of Faith is the first book of its kind about St. Paul's. Based on 
articles by Anne Rouse Edwards which first appeared in the Chowan Herald to mark 
the 300th anniversary of St. Paul's, this book presents the history of Chowan Parish 
and St. Paul's Church in Edenton from the first vestry meeting in 1701 to the present day. 

Anne Rouse Edwards is a member of St. Paul's. She has lived in Edenton for 
many years, and serves on the Edenton Historical Commission. Her text is based on original 
documents and secondary sources, and on research and resources provided by Elizabeth 
Vann Moore who acts as consultant to the project. 

Profits from the sale of the book are to be donated to the parish fund for the restoration of 
the old Rector's Study, built in the 1840s and located within in the grounds of St. Paul's. 

ISBN 0-9643396-6-8 


Bridgeport National 
Bindery, Inc. 

JULY 2004